Wheaton Montessori News
Last night as we were readying to leave for the evening, Dr. Bilezikian came in and said, “You’ve got to see what’s happening outside of our window right now.” We hustled, thinking that we were about to stumble upon something hilarious happening with the “After School” crowd, which happens frequently. Instead, we witnessed a moment of calm wonder.
These “after school” students, who stay each day for extended pick up, are normally playing, laughing, running, and MOVING. But last night, these students were sitting or standing quietly, completely enthralled by the scene in front of them. They were watching Scout, an 8th grade student in our Adolescent Community. She was sitting at the window in the Junior High classroom, painting the glass with wintry scenes. They “ooohed” and “aaahed” with each layer of color that Scount applied.
This is an example of the benefit of a multi-age campus and the younger students seeing what the older ones are doing. It gives them a goal to strive towards; many of them said at one point, “I want to do that!” The multi-age setting goes beyond each child’s classroom – it applies to our entire campus.
Update from Dr. Bilezikian: Upon reading the above post, Dr. Bilezikian had a few words on what the activity meant for his student, the artist.
“”Hmmm…you let students paint windows during class time?,” you ask. This activity satisfies several adolescent fundamental drives. They have a powerful need to: improve themselves and their skills (artistic in this case), engage in self-expression, and contribute to their community. Capping off a strenuous day of studying the “Me Too” phenomenon, transitions in U.S. history, and algebra, in this way will allow the student to go home feeling satisfied and looking forward to coming back tomorrow. Thwarting satisfaction of these drives (#traditionaleducation) results in frustrated, surly, irritable, (your adjective here) teens.”