I imagine a learning space that resists right angles, creatively contemplates boundaries. I hope for more than one teacher in the classroom. I envision a sea of diverse students learning while engaged at various times in that learning with all five senses, with many different materials and strategies, at desks, tables, on floors, standing up, and outside in the world. I want more than a letter grade and random data from a test to account for how my children are doing in school. I want insight, specifics on what they are learning, how they are developing socially and emotionally, and how we can support what happens in school at home. I want an ongoing stream of communication into how my children are acquiring knowledge and skills, what they are doing in their learning spaces to apply that knowledge, and guidance and opportunities on how to support my children’s learning experiences beyond the classroom. I want to have an open exchange with the school my kids attend, a range of exchange and communication, from face to face, to in the hallways, classrooms, and online, where I always feel I have a sense, a grasp of of my children’s learning community, their growth and develop, their educational environment.
I have expectations and commitments I want upheld not only by the school, but also by our family in partnership with that school. I want a school that sees our family as a whole and as partners in our children’s growth, development, and education. I want a school that puts my children first, even if that means I need to learn to let go, allow my children to grow towards independence and freedom. I want an education for my children, for every child, that seeks equity, justice, and peace.
And while I understand surely no school is perfect, no education theory or philosophy is all knowing or right for every learner, when I see my children excited, eager to learn, and the teachers that care for them just as eager, that is reassuring. When my children say, “mom we love school,” I am thankful.
February 24-March 2 is Montessori Education Week