Lunch box. Check.
New clothes. Check.
Milk stash in the freezer. Check.
Cute bag to store the pump in. Check.
Nanny schedule. Grandma schedule. Pizza Friday form. Check. Check. Check.
Its almost here. The first day of school. Many of you have had it already. I’m still in this weird phase of shock and awe. 6 months ago I would never have guessed we’d be here. But we’re here. Dream job, dream school, my big boy and I starting our next new adventure, together.
The classroom is prepped. E is excited. D is old enough that I don’t feel completely terrible leaving him. All the ducks are in a row. 🦆🦆🦆
And yet there is this lingering feeling of sadness. Of “Wait! Not yet! Not us!”.
Parent night is tonight. I’ll be helping out in my classroom, presenting to new and returning parents. Hubby will represent our fam in E’s classroom. I’ll look at the anxious eyes of mums and dads across from me, wanting to know all the important details of what their child’s day will be like, wanting to know that Rita will have the chance to play in the sandbox, and Miley will have someone to remind her to eat her carrots, and Jo will have someone to hold his hand down the stairs because he still has wobbly legs. And I hope they will look at my eyes and see the same worry, but also the reassurance that yes, I will be there for your child when you are not. I will smile at them when they do something challenging and new for the first time. I will comfort them when they feel lonely and out of sorts. I will help them navigate new friendships. And I will trust that the teachers in E’s room and the nanny at home with D will do the same for them.
I’m not really ready for this day. But through all of my years teaching, I know I never really could be. It’s exciting, and scary, and new, and emotional, and I am open to it all.
August is the time of year when teachers begin to plan, work and get ready for the year ahead. I am re-engaging in my Montessori Training, and getting ready to take on the role os Assistant in a Montessori classroom. My husband is helping me to carve out the time I need on Saturdays to write and work. So here I am, sitting in my basement office, creating the bones of an album and fleshing out the pieces to make it whole. Album 1: Philosophy. What is Montessori?
When I first began my training two years ago, I never imagined the journey that was beginning. The spiritual preparation of the teacher is something Montessori wrote often about in her books. But I didn’t realize that preparation would include becoming completely obsessed, then detaching from the obsession, and then reigniting the spark. But as any spiritual journey goes, there must be periods of complete faith, and periods of questioning and doubt. I return to this work now, having gone through both, with a healthy dose of each. I believe in the Montessori method as a wonderful way to inspire and ignite learning. I am wary of the tendency for the method to be taken too strictly into practice. I am weary of becoming obsessive with order and correctness. My hope for the continuation of this journey is to balance the beautiful ideals of Montessori, with a modern understanding of children and their needs.
I’ll be going in to help set-up the classroom soon. In the meantime, I’m creating job cards, writing papers, and studying for my philosophy exam. Not to mention balancing the role of mama to two young boys. These August days will be busy. And the rush of back to school will be in full swing in just a few short weeks. It’s been a few years since I have felt it. I find now that it feels more like a calm excitement, less of a frenzy. Maybe that has to do with age and experience, and the welcome realization that school is not life, that education happens without much effort, and that all will be as it needs to be without me having to force anything.
Here’s to a balanced year.