When we consider the infinite variety expressed in nature, it seems obvious that every human among 7,655,957,369 of us would be different. Yet this very notion of difference has been the root of conflict and fear throughout human history. Why does our global community struggle so painfully to understand that not everyone will share our same likes and dislikes, dreams and insecurities, values and beliefs?
The idea is simple. Yet the practice is not.
Take a moment to remember yourself as a child. As you formed your identity and began to align with your own set of values. What was the journey that brought you to CMS? Of course, each one of us will have a unique story. We arrived at Chesterfield Montessori School for different reasons. Yet I am willing to bet that we all share an important reason for staying.
Our rich diversity as a community makes our school special. It embraces you the moment you walk through our doors. Our tangible sense of community radiates through our buildings and school events, enticing you to become a part of it, inviting you to contribute what only your family can bring to our table.
As a Montessori educator, I revel in the responsibility of inspiring children who in the process of self-discovery, simultaneously comprehend that each person is unique. Our students recognize and feel connected by what they share; they are also fascinated by the ways they are different! In my classroom we often celebrate and marvel at the fact that we speak a total of 9 languages (Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian, Swedish, Mandarin, Senegalese, German, English), and we represent even more nationalities than that. Through Montessori the whole world becomes a part of their everyday work in so many small yet powerful ways.
I see the consciousness of their global citizenship seeping into my children every day. These students adopt every culture they learn about as their own. I see it when they fail to assume that a new child in our classroom speaks English. In how they learn to communicate in creative and compassionate ways with children who don’t (yet) share their language. How they are genuinely hungry to learn phrases and customs of the many cultures that arrive with our new children so that they themselves can reach out. Their desire to learn about new cultures is inexhaustible.
“How do you say ‘I can help you’ in French so that he knows he can also count on me, Ms. Maria?”
“Can you please teach me how they greet good morning in China so maybe she will feel more comfortable coming into our classroom in the mornings?”
“I am from Saint Louis but my heart belongs to the whole wide world.”
These are just a few of the nuggets of gold I get to hear on a daily basis. That awareness of their part in the larger human family will be with them throughout their lives.
In the end we represent an impressive plethora of nations, but what’s more impressive than that, is that we come together as one community.
We are Chesterfield Montessori School, where world peace is more than an idea. It is a daily practice. We are a community invested in these young lives that will continue to drive our world forward; to build bridges, not walls. We are honored to empower these budding, bright, inclusive beings who hold the key to our future. From where we sit each day, that future is bright.
You can find the whole world at 14000 Ladue Road. So pull up a chair, we always have room for more.
Blog post written by: Ms. Maria Santoyo, Primary Directress at CMS