postheadericon The Montessori Animal School

Once upon a time, a group of parents decided to get together and start a Montessori School.  They searched far and wide for a teacher and eventually decided to employ an Owl, she was well trained but in addition had spent some time traveling and had an understanding of animals in diverse situations. Furthermore she had spend quite some time focused on her own personal development and had that one trait which is so rare amongst adult animals these days – wisdom.

Although the Owl would have preferred to begin with a small group of younger cubs, pups and other varied offspring, she realized that this is not always possible, and the school year started with a diverse group of dishevelled, disorganized and (to use the jargon) deviated young animals.  The Owl, however, paid careful attention to the environment, and held faith that the true characters of the young animals in her care would emerge.

This fish exhibited complete concentration  on his self-chosen task  The observant guide was astute enough to realise that the appearance of "'doing nothing but swimming around"' all day long encompassed a host of other activities entirely appropriate to the fish's abilities, interest and developmental stages such as carefully and accurately measuring his depth in the water, staying upright at all times and locating exactly the right temperature pockets in the sea.  Her careful observation led her to understand that what appeared to be a case of bothering another child was actually an example of perfect symbiosis.  The little Clown Fish had apparently taken her Grace and Courtesy lesson on helping each other, to heart, as he swam among the sea anemones.  The teacher saw that the fish understood about co-operation and helpfulness, while being totally in tune with his own needs.

The Bear tended to mind his own business all winter, but the teacher helped the other animals to understood the idea “bear with a sore head” and they all respected his needs for quiet and a warm place to hibernate.

The Squirrel's parents warned the Owl that their child was hyperactive, but the teacher was able to reassure them that running up and down tree trunks was exactly what their precocious and intelligent child needed in order to properly develop her wonderful ability to find and store nuts.  In fact, the teacher could see how adept she was at this skill and remind the parents that, far from being irresponsible, their child exhibited a sense of planning ahead and saving which was an important life skill which many other animals were unable to develop.

Indeed, although she had a firm grounding in what to expect from each child in each plane of development the teacher was able to see that every single child was different, and provide for their needs of the moment as well as over the long term.  Each child in her care developed into a well-rounded animal.  Each one fulfilled their unique niche in the magnificent cosmic order, they learned to be themselves, but to do that perfectly.  The teacher's watched the children and never ceased to wonder at how each one revealed himself on a daily basis, how each one taught her something new each time she took the trouble to connect.  She never lost her sense of amazement and joy, and the deep humility and gratitude that these children were sharing their lives with her.

Last Updated (Wednesday, 21 July 2010 12:06)