Last Thursday at our Full Staff meeting, the topic of the Russian invasion of Ukraine was raised. This week teachers’ level meetings included these agenda items:
Children’s House: Peace Curriculum
Lower Elementary: Peace Curriculum in light of Ukraine
Upper Elementary: Can the Lit Circle theme of “effects of war” be combined with a conversation/discussion about what is happening in Ukraine?
Middle School: Ukraine
We brainstormed in these meetings age-appropriate ways to include this event in discussion with students. Some examples: “This is an opportunity to talk about a nonviolent approach to solve problems; the possible consequences of when a conflict is not addressed or when it is not addressed peacefully; put it in the context of the Montessori Model UN work; how this relates to fundamental human needs – for everyone.”
What emerged for me from these important teacher discussions are central tenets of Montessori education that your children benefit from:
Respect for each student and how they make sense of the world;
Compassionate resolution of conflict and aggression by listening at least as much as we talk;
Teaching for peace, for justice, for spiritual well-being.
This is the vital work of our teachers, our school in the face of events that can render adults helpless, even hopeless.
“Averting war is the work of politicians; establishing peace is the work of education.”