As Montessori teachers part of our training includes hours of observations, so naturally it is part of what we do in our classrooms on a daily basis. A few weeks ago my students were cleaning up and getting ready for circle time when I found Sally (not her real name) lying on the floor in the middle of the walk way. I took her by the hand and gently asked her to get up, retrieve her shoes, and join the circle. She didn’t move so I asked her again. Instead of getting up she burst into tears. I asked several times to find out what was the matter but she just kept on crying. Since I felt I wasn’t helping, I decided to leave her alone for a few minutes to see if she could collect her emotions.
While wiping down the sink area I kept one eye to see how she was doing. Sally had gotten off the floor and was sitting on a small rocking chair. Her crying had toned down a bit so I continued to clean. When I realized the crying had stopped altogether, I turned around again and realized Mary (not her real name) had joined her on the floor. I walked over to see what Mary was doing and saw her place Sally’s shoes on the floor and helped her put them on. When Sally finished Mary helped her off the rocking chair and walked her over to join circle. I was touched by what Mary did and whispered to her that I appreciated what she did for her friend and also let Sally child know that she has a friend that really cares about her.
We teach our children all we can to help them be caring, empathetic human beings. Sometimes we wonder if we’re getting through to them; when I catch a glimpse of it, I know that our efforts are not in vain. This time the simple act of kindness came in the form of a small framed little girl who just turned four years old a few weeks ago, was able to comfort a friend, and got her to join circle time without saying anything at all in the process. It warms my heart.