Mary’s Peace Day Message
September 21, 2017
Today we celebrate for the 15th year of Montessori School of Westfield’s vision of peace for everyone both here and abroad. We are singing and celebrating with Montessori Schools around the world. This peace pole is the very first one we purchased the year after 911. The four languages are English, Spanish, Chinese and American Sign Language.
We practice peace everyday in our classrooms. Students have a peace table where they may go to and work out their challenges with their classmate. It is the norm for me to walk into a 3-6 classroom and hear 2 students at the table saying, “You frustrate me. I wanted to do that first!” The International Day of Peace is the perfect time to focus on peace in the Montessori classroom. It is easy to enthuse our students about these concepts through our everyday teachings. Along with Peace Day, these classroom activities help us tie Grace and Courtesy, Cultural Studies, and Cosmic Education together through celebration! If we are to teach real peace in the world we must start with the children. I am very passionate when it comes to building a strong foundation of love and peace, for our children of the future. As an administrator, I am deeply aware that we must teach and model peace, even when we are in the midst of chaos. It is our job as mentors and role models to teach the children positive ways of dealing with challenges and difficulties as they occur. It is in the home and classroom that adults are in the best position to promote peace and foster consideration for others. As teachers and parents we promote peace through our own behavior. Adults provide young people with models of respect, empathy and consideration, for others. The journey for children to become empathetic adults is a slow and difficult one. Montessori strives to open the eyes of the child so that he can see the differences of others and perceive the world through the eyes of others.
It is my goal to guide all children to a place where they will have spiritual courage to stand up for injustice, out of love, and not just out of tolerance. And, with that same courage, to reach out to their friends and community, spreading their gifts of kindness and peace. Maria Montessori said, preventing conflict is the work of politics, establishing peace is the work of education.
I ask of all of you today to be conscious of how you model peace in your home, and in your community. We can be the change the world needs. Peace may look a little different to everyone. To me, it doesn’t mean the absence of conflict. That would be an idealized world in which none of us live. Rather, it’s learning how to deal with conflict in a way that doesn’t put the rights, wants, or needs of one person over the other. It’s learning conflict resolution skills that stress respect for the individual and the group.
I ask of all of you today to be conscious of how you model peace in your home, and in your community.
Thank you and God Bless!