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Love is the Instinct that Guides our Actions

Here at The Earth Tortoise School, we are wrapping up our first couple of weeks of a new school year. Just like every year, these first weeks are full of tears and triumphs:

Children new to school are working through leaving their parents, perhaps for the first time ever. They are facing a larger world, having to put their trust in people they do not yet know. These relationships are probably their first outside of the safe bubble of their families. They must forge these on their own. As the days pass, their sense of trust in the world - which they have begun building with their parents - becomes further solidified through these new relationships. They are learning that, not only do they have family that loves them and will take care of them, there are others in the world who are kind and caring and make the world a safe place! They learn that they are able to meet new challenges with the support of others and gain the confidence this understanding brings!

This is a hard transition for parents also. You are entrusting the care of your most treasured loved one to someone else. Will they be able to meet all your child’s needs? How will your child cope with such a big change? With time, however, seeing your child make new relationships, grow into new experiences, and gain a new sense of empowerment will fill you with pride, will move you through your growth as a parent, and hopefully give you a sense of support as you settle into this community yourself.

In another way, however, this year feels very different from last couple of years. The COVID pandemic brought lots of stressors – both anticipated and unforeseen. We were all hanging on and getting through each day. This year feels like we have all taken a deep breath and a sigh of relief. There is a lightness. And we hope to be able to shift out of “survival” mode and back into community building.

The development of this blog is one step in that direction – information, inspiration, and insights to help you along on your parenting journey.

We’ll start with a little inspiration:

Maria Montessori wholeheartedly believed, that through our work with children, we can bring about true world peace. When she spoke of world peace, she did not simply mean the cessation of war. Instead, her vision was for a world in which each individual feels at peace with themselves and experiences the joy of being in love with life; a world where each person has an innate sense of dignity; a world where this inner peace manifests as deep respect for everyone and everything on our planet; a world in which “love is the instinct that guides our actions.” Children are born with this love. They are in awe of life and the world around. They are excited to explore and discover. “Love spurs (hu)man to use his mind.” She saw work as our greatest expression of this love for life. Of course, she did not mean the drudgery that so many humans experiences as work. By “work”, Montessori is referring to that basic human drive to explore and discover, to create, to be productive, to learn and contribute – whether it be art, the designing of bridge, cooking, tilling the soil, or working on cars. When we allow children to learn and work in this way, they settle into their inner peace. Creating an environment where children can settle in to this inner peace through their work in that environment should be the aim of education. “Intelligence, a balanced personality, and the unity of all (hu)mankind as a single organism are (hu)man’s wealth. What is therefore needed today is an education that will lead the human personality to recognize (its) grandeur.”

Each day in the classrooms at The Earth Tortoise School, the children go about the very important work of not discovering themselves, per se, but creating themselves - exploring and learning and working to build up that well of peace, love, and purpose.




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