Is It Friday Yet?
By Rochelle Hayes
Fridays are extra special days in our classroom. Students from the Adolescent Community visit us those mornings, and it’s hard to tell who’s more excited about it, our three to six-year-olds or the adolescents! As a Primary teacher and a parent of an adolescent, watching the oldest students on campus work with some of the youngest with such care, and the younger students receive their guidance with such joy, reminds me once again of what a special place Montessori Community School is.
We were excited when the adolescent teachers asked if their students could come help in our classroom weekly as part of their efforts at community service. What began with the adolescents reading to our students or listening to students read to them has grown into something much more involved. Our students are entranced when the adolescents reminisce on using the same materials when they were in Primary. After being shown how to give specific lessons, the adolescents now lead small group games using those same materials. They sit with a child who needs a little extra encouragement to finish their work. They help children navigate conflicts by giving them words they can use. They model grace and courtesy for an audience that hangs on their every word and movement. Our students asked the adolescents if they would come out with them to the playground for morning recess too and they happily agreed, playing soccer with the children, letting themselves be chased and “put in jail”, or just sitting on a bench with a child talking about their new shoes.
The connections these students are making with each other on Friday mornings are powerful and create a deep sense of community and belonging for the youngest to the oldest student. An adolescent high-fives a three-year-old walking by the Cool Beans cart on the way into school. A five-year-old invites the adolescents to her birthday party. Something special is happening here. We are so grateful that the adolescents are willing to make the trek across campus each week, to come into our classroom and fold their bodies into our tiny chairs, as happy to see us as we are to see them. And we are so grateful that Montessori Community School encourages this kind of cross-level collaboration.
Is it Friday yet?