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Wheaton Montessori News

A Moment of Beauty in Frustration
Categories: General Knowledge Fund / Preschool / Spotlight on Our Teachers / Why Montessori

Each week during our Staff Meeting, each teacher relays a particular moment (or moments) that exemplify how education can bring about peace within the child, the community, or the world.  At a recent weekly staff meeting, one of our primary teachers relayed the following story: 


A student in her classroom was struggling with handwriting work.  The teacher acknowledged that handwriting work is difficult for the child and a source of some frustration.  She encouraged the student to keep trying, despite the difficulty.

She told the student, “You’re just going to have to TRY!”

Student: “But it’s going to look BAD!”

Teacher: “Yes!  Of course it is!  For 10,000 hours it will!”

Student: Laughed.


Laughed!  In the midst of the frustration, the student and teacher were able to connect and share a laugh.  The teacher then left the student to practice and try again, with the knowledge that perfection was not expected.

After trying again, and trying very hard, the student exclaimed: “I CAN DO HARD THINGS!”


At this point in the story, the teacher had to stop her narration.  She was so emotionally moved by the child’s victory over fear and frustration that she was tearful.


Many times, we try to save our children from any amount of frustration, hardship, or negative emotion.  But in cases such as this, preventing the struggle would have been to deny the child this pure moment of joy and accomplishment.