The Montessori classroom resembles the classroom out there called life

Rahil Riad Mahmood (Grade 12 Graduating Class of 2019)
Student at Head Start from 2003 to 2019
Joining Emory University, Atlanta

The Montessori classroom resembles the classroom out there called life; people of different age groups sharing the same space, working independently (and often together) to accomplish their personal and collective goals. The younger ones look up to the older and more experienced ones, seeing them as role models and eager to conquer the milestones of learning under their guidance. With responsibility, independence, honesty, leadership, perseverance, and passion being some of the core principles filling the atmosphere of the classroom, a Montessori environment is fascinating in that it reveals how certain values of life are not simply taught, but also put into practice at such an early age. Qualities such as these are often the most difficult ones to master. They haunt us throughout our lives and it’s not uncommon for us to lack them—or simply choose to ignore them—when we are faced with challenges at different points in life. But the Montessori method, in the way that it brings about an innocence and eagerness with which the child wants to pursue these themes on a daily basis, beautifully highlights the power and potential of a mind that is preparing to embark on the journey of life.

I am grateful for my Montessori education, which has instilled in me a very disciplined work ethic. I remember always finishing the task at hand to the best of my ability, before putting away the materials and taking up a new activity. I learned at a young age that it is important to focus on one thing at a time: do it once and do it properly; try again if you need to. There might be a few people ahead of you, tackling more advanced problems and using more materials; but it is important to be patient and trust the process. At the end of the day, I myself am my biggest competitor—setting my own goals and achieving them at my own pace.

Posted in Alumni, Class of 2019, From Our Students, Reflections.