How beautiful it is to hear elementary Guides tell about the beginning of this new year!!! Yes, the splendid new year has begun. The elementary children’s brainstorming to create the Vision for their living and learning community is inspiring – and beautiful! And yet, as the school year continues, the beauty increases. The children confront the challenges of LIVING the Vision! That is the heart of the beauty.

Every single event of their missing the mark of the high bar they set for themselves as a community is a gift. It is a powerful lesson in social emotional development, an opportunity for growth of character and skills. After all, if the children could already actually live up to the Vision, it would mean it was not enough of a challenge for them. And all of that “missing of the mark” is a part of the process of expanding the children’s understanding of Montessori’s “friendliness with error.”

The children gain a sureness that each “failure” of the Vision is an opportunity to gain experience in “setting things right” again, an opportunity to practice Peer Mediation for relationships or to problem solve for increasing intrinsic motivation and shouldering maximum effort! Just imagine our Montessori children growing up and taking all that character development, that courage and integrity, out into the world!

Sharing in the joy of the children’s Vision-making for the new year is gratifying to me, but not half as gratifying as the struggles they go through all year long to live out that Vision!