On Fanning Our Gifts

August 31 was the birthday of the famous educator, Maria Montessori. 

She believed that children were not blank slates, but that they had inherent, individual gifts. 

It was a teacher’s job to help children find these gifts, rather than dictating what a child should know.  She emphasized autonomy, self-directed learning and learning from peers. 

In his poem, “The Way It Is,” poet William Stafford wrote about a “thread” that each person follows.  Each person’s thread is unique.  “It goes among things that change but it doesn’t change.”  You could think of this thread as a person’s gifts or even as his destiny. Continue Reading »