Education, to me, spans farther than the traditional view of education taking place in a classroom setting that is designed for children. Daniel Siegel is a neuroscientist who writes about the important work of our minds, which, by the way, are separate from our brains. In reading his work, I have learned that some people have fixed mindsets (most of the population actually) and others have growth oriented mindsets. I am one with a growth oriented mindset, so there is no wonder behind my attraction to progressive forms of education. My tendency is to continually review the matrix that was built during my childhood, and to differentiate where I need to so I can move closer to my full potential. Current education should endorse this type of mindset in children; it should draw out and unfold the powers of the mind. The work of the mind entails the building of emotional intelligence as well as cognitive thought and competency of academic skill. Similarly, and consistent with Dr. Maria Montessori’s mission, I believe that education applies to more than children; it is about humanity growing and evolving. As educators, it is our job to commit to our own life-long learning as we model and co-voyage with the rest of humanity on a journey of unfolding our full potentials. My philosophy of education is for adults to assist children in seeking their true and full potentials through emotionally intelligent living while influencing the positive course and culture of humanity for THEMSELVES and for others.
The Montessori program has an emotionally intelligent culture (developing skills of collaboration, creative problem solving, intrapersonal and interpersonal communication, etc.) that awakens and celebrates individual talents and gifts in children, without compromising academic rigor and mastery of academic skill. This results in individuals who are engaged in intentional learning and eager for the challenge of it. I read a Facebook post today: “It’s never too late to become who you might have been.” While it is crucial that we should passionately encourage children to reach their full potentials in all the manners discussed in this paper, it is equally important that we continue to do this for ourselves as a way to model it for the children. Humans are more than beings who can laugh and express rational thought; they are tasked with leading an ever-changing universe! As a leader in education, I also become, inherently, a coach to adults who are committed to excellence in education. An inspired community is one committed to the excellence and growth of the organization. Yes, everyone working together for a common goal: education as it should be.