The Power of Choice

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Happy New Year! We are all back, though you won’t have seen me in person this week. I’m quarantined with COVID (my first time having it!), but am very much working on school projects.

The staff had a great In-Service day meeting on Monday, including a lively discussion about “choice” in the Montessori classroom. We read Chapter 3 of Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius by Angeline Stoll Lillard, “Choice and Perceived Control”, and discussed the material across program levels. Some staff who are parents also noted that they learned so much that was useful to them as parents! If anyone would like to borrow the book to read, please stop by the front desk for a copy!

Our staff, and many parents, have been learning more of the benefits of “Positive Discipline for Montessori Schools and Families”. This work, spearheaded by Chip DeLorenzo, can be applied to so many areas of our work with students and children. Chip has just published a wonderful blog post on “When We Steal the Struggle, We Steal the Victory”. As adults, we are so often tempted to smooth things over, or “snowplow”, ahead of our children. His piece gives a good explanation of why to not do that!

Now that I have adult children (albeit still in school), I am reminded of the need to let them struggle, and even fail, yet the stakes are now higher. If my son doesn’t complete his student visa application in time, we lose the money for the flight and semester abroad, and he loses that opportunity! It is important to let them struggle, and learn from natural consequences, when the stakes are lower!

I’ve been able to work on many of my responsibilities from the comfort of my couch, including: re-enrollment, student assessments, budget and finance work, Vermont Independent Schools Association legislative updates, SummerFun planning, our water system reporting, and more. AND, I’m very much available by email or phone. If anyone would like to be in touch, please reach out to me.