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terroir definitionI subscribe to many blogs – more than I could possibly read. I love to read, to learn, to be entertained and informed. There are so many people sharing their views and knowledge. Seth Godin is someone I make sure to read each morning as I prepare for my day. He lends me bits of wisdom and often inspires me in my work and life. This week, he shared a French word, terroir, which is loosely translated as “a sense of place” that is embodied in certain characteristic qualities. He was speaking of foods and wines of certain regions and their flavor – the way the region, its soil and climate impact the product. But he ended this post talking about a bakery and its uniqueness, its essence.

This prompted me to think about the terroir of Wilmington Montessori School. What makes us who we are? Why are families and staff members so dedicated to our school? What is it that people who come through our doors feel? It is so much more than our mission and our core values. It is living that mission and those values day after day.

Every day at WMS, children are cared for, valued for who they are and supported to move on to the next step, whether that step is an actual step of a toddler, the “writing” of a 3-year-old or the research of a 10-year-old. Teachers are there to observe children and guide them in their development socially, emotionally and academically. Everyone at WMS is there because they see the value in what we do and the essence of who we are. They feel the welcoming atmosphere, the excitement about learning and the acceptance of each other.

So many people visit our school who have never been here before and say they just know it is a wonderful place as they walk through the doors. They can feel the terroir. It is the essence of WMS that matters. Other schools may have a similar mission or state the same core values; we are distinctive.

There is no other WMS.