Last week I was at the American Montessori Society’s national conference in Chicago. It is an opportunity for Montessori educators from around the globe to come together and share best practices, learn from experts in the field and reconnect in order to further Montessori education when they return to their schools. It also happened to coincide with the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Chicago. This wasn’t intentional, I’m sure, but an interesting coincidence. As the saying goes, everyone has a bit of Irish in them on Saint Paddy’s Day.
At WMS, we have our own leprechaun. He came to WMS a couple of years ago and has added so much to the school. Some know him as our Facilities Manager, others note his friendly year-round smile and twinkle in his eye, and simply smile back. But on this day for the past two years, he is a leprechaun. He greets students, staff and families and welcomes them on this magical day. He visits classrooms and gives the children an opportunity to ask him about the origins of his costume, his Irish heritage and his “real job” at the school. Although he frequently states that he is not a teacher, he is that and more.
Our staff, parents, grandparents, and countless others teach us all each day. We learn from each other and we work together to create the finest school community you can find. You see, though some of us have the title of “teacher,” all of us are dedicated to teaching and learning. We remind each other that our goal is to support our students, which means learning from them as well as teaching them. We are learners. We support each other no matter our role or job description. More than anything, this is what schools need to be.