Thursday, December 20, 2007

Montessori Moments: Unselfish Giving and Holiday Spirit

NAMC montessori moments giving spirit holiday christmas santa letters
“If help and salvation are to come, they can only come from the children, for the children are the makers of men.”
- Maria Montessori

We call them “Montessori moments” – those moments that are so golden and precious that they are indelibly etched into our hearts forever. I’d like to take full credit for what happened in my Montessori classroom yesterday, but like most Montessori moments, it just ‘happened’ without a lot of planning or foresight.

I had been planning all week on teaching the children how to write a “friendly” letter. It being the week before Christmas, I sat in the circle with my 30 Lower Elementary students and we composed a letter to Mrs. Claus together. The responses were pretty typical: How’s Santa and Rudolf? You make great cookies. You’re very nice. What do you want for Christmas?

We spoke briefly about form: Salutations, the body of the letter, and the closing. We spoke of indenting paragraphs, capitalization, punctuation, and margins. Then came the assignment. They were to write a letter to Santa, but not your typical “I want…” letter. It was to be an unselfish letter to Santa. They were to write what they wanted Santa to bring to others.
One little boy asked if I was going to mail them to Santa and I asked if they wanted me to. There was a unanimous and resounding YES! And I agreed that I would.

Montessori Moments: Wonderful Experiences of Unselfish Giving and Holiday Spirit


My Montessori classroom was all astir. A letter to Santa for someone else? I let them choose what paper they wanted to use and let them sit and think. Some got started right away and some needed the extra time. When they were finished, we all came back to circle and I provided them the opportunity to share their letters if they wanted. Most did and when they were done, they solemnly entrusted their letters to me for delivery to the North Pole.

As they were reading, my assistant and I listened to the heartfelt sincerity of these Montessori children and were yet again renewed by the innocence of our children. At times, we it was all we could do not to laugh out loud while others brought us to tears. I’d like to share a few excerpts of what they wrote:
[Names have been omitted to protect the children and the spelling is as authentic as possible].

Dear Santa,
Can you help the people in the California wild fires? They really need homes and school stuff. Can I have a learn to do cursive Book?
Love,
A 2nd grade girl


Dear Santa,
I want a Dog and North American Candys, Petz Vido [video] Game for my cousin. For my DaD a trip to Washington please. Another Dog For Miss Mechele. Real Dimond Julery for Mis anna. Houses for the poor and what ever they really need.
Love,
A 2nd grade girl


Dear Santa,
I am writing to you about my friend . I wish for her a very special bracelet because she is a very special friend.
I have hot cocoa waiting for you.
Love,
A 1st grade girl


Dear Santa,
My sister whats Meet Hanny [Hannah} Montana and Mily Ciyeris [Miley Cyrus} the sound track. My mom whants a knew frig becase the ice maker is bustid. I’m getting my dad somthig I think it is a new shoote [suit] and tie. My grandmother whats pece to the world.
Love,
A 1st grade boy


Dear Santa,
Can you give the children in the California wildfires toys? Can you give my sister everything she wants she doesn’t have very much on her list this year. I want everyone to have a great Cristmas this year. Do you remember when my uncle chased you around the yard?
Love,
A 2nd grade girl


Dear Santa,
I want for the poor, some clothing, food, and toys. The first thing I really really want is for you to bring them joy and happiness.
Love,
A 2nd grade girl


Dear Santa Claus,
You are very kind and you don’t push people becase its just not nice. Do you fed the raindeer Santa? Do you help Mrs. Claus? How is rodoff doing? Does Rodoff have a cold?, because if he does that’s just bad!
Love,
A 2nd grade girl


Dear Santa,
I hope you have a happy Merry Christmas. Also I hope you deliver a lot of toys to peoples homes. I hope you deliver some presents to familys. I hope you spend time with your family. Also I hope you eat lots of food and a lot of fruit. I hope you get a lot of presents.
Love,
A 1st grade boy


Dear Santa Clause,
Can you please get the poor clothing, shoes, hairbrushs, food, water, and toys? Can you please, please get them medicein? I really want the poor to have joy and happieness. I hope the poor gets better.
Love,
A 2nd grade girl


Dear Santa,
I know it’s late and Christmas is drawing closer and closer by the minute, but the thoughts and wishes of my students are from the heart. My Christmas wish for them is that they never lose this desire to help others and to spread kindness throughout the world. Thank your for listening, Santa. The children are counting on your help.
Love,
Miss Michelle

Our goal is not so much the imparting of knowledge as the unveiling and developing of spiritual energy.
- Maria Montessori

As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community. © the North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Thursday, December 20, 2007.

2 comments:

  1. These are fantastic, Michelle! Truly classic. What a great idea - it would be neat to do each year and compare year by year.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks, Lori. It would be nice to compare them over the 3 year cycle.

    ReplyDelete

Have questions or comments? Let us know what you thought
about this article!

We appreciate feedback and love to discuss with our readers further.

Find What Interests You Easily!

Are you interested in reading back through NAMC's blog articles from years gone by? Are you looking for more information on a specific topic?

Use the menu below to select the year and then the month to narrow down the time frame the articles you are interested in were posted. You can also browse our entire list of categories below; by clicking on one, you will see every article posted under that topic since 2007.

Still having trouble finding what you're looking for? Try our search box (located in the side bar of every page) to search all posts on our site for your keyword. If you require further information, or have comments or concerns, feel free to contact us.

NAMC Montessori Teacher Training Blog Archive

Post Category Labels

We'd love to hear from you!

As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community.

NAMC is always looking for feedback and dialogue with our students and other Montessorians. We invite you to contact us if you may have any questions or comments in regards to our blog or articles we have posted here at our Montessori Teacher Training page.

Please note:If you want to learn more about NAMC, are interested in our programs, or are a student, please contact us through the main NAMC site to ensure a timely response from one of our advisors, tutors, or education specialists.

Fill out my online form.