The boy wanted to give a gift to a little 4 year old who was celebrating his birthday at school. We usually gift poems to each other in the elementary and he had been a recipient of such presents.
It was only logical then, for the boy to copy write a poem as a present.
But he disliked writing – it was difficult and held no pleasure for him.
Today though, something stirred inside of him. Maybe his desire to be the bearer of gifts was far greater than his disinclination to write … maybe it was something else …
The boy painstakingly wrote out a poem, but it didn’t stop there. He copy wrote and illustrated poems for the next three hours!
He came in the next day and went straight to work. By the end of our morning work cycle he had reams of paper with poems running through them, like ants on a sidewalk.
The boy did this again on the third day.
He rummaged through even more poetry books. He marked in the parts of speech in the poems he copy wrote.
He commented on the ‘beautiful language’ made by Valerie Worth in her poem, ‘Tiger’ and finally, he wrote his own poem! …”Cars are like dragons flying through a desert“
The boy declared, “You know, I just LOVE poetry’
This coming from someone who evidently disliked our story reading sessions, resisted putting pencil to paper for the simplest of tasks, did not borrow books from our library unless it was suggested and never voluntarily chose work from our language shelves.
How did the shift occur? How did the boy, who a year ago found it formidable to articulate his thoughts in complete sentences, find contact with the words:
a black sun.
In his cold
carries it still.
Black rays roar
from the centers
of his eyes.
~ by Valerie Worth
And then it struck me – it was the gift of TIME!
Time to interact with others and to talk about things that interested him thereby practicing his oral language skills, time to pursue interests that called to him, time to receive precise help and practice skills and most of all, time to build confidence – now something that was difficult and new was no longer daunting but challenging!
This, my friends, is the poetry of Montessori environments. The child has TIME – a right in a Montessori environment, but a luxury in more mainstream learning environments.
The child is not being hurried along according to an agenda laid down by people who have never heard his name, or falling into a struggle with a harried teacher who needs to get things done. Nor is he learning each day that he is not good enough and cannot do something.
Instead, he follows himself, stays true to who he is and loves what he does!
The boy will be leaving us to join a more mainstream school for the next academic year.
My wish for you my dear boy is that you always hold true that deserts there may be, but dragons can fly through them!