Saturday, November 6, 2010

Week One - The Personhood of the Child

I am a teacher at an Ambleside school. The more that I am immersed in the philosophy and environment, the more I fall in love. Charlotte Mason taught that children are born persons. They are not on their way to becoming a person - they already are. With that in mind, they are to be respected as we seek to nourish their minds and help them to grow. Here is a reflection that I wrote at the end of my first week of teaching:

There is a student in my class who would not likely be tolerated in other private schools because of his special needs. His differences from other children are quickly obvious, while his similarities are somewhat hidden. I must admit, I was nervous about having him in my class - I wondered if I would be able to help him thrive.

After a week in class together, it is apparent to me that it is not about me. This child thrives because of who Ambleside is, because of who is mother is and because of whom he is. At Ambleside, he has been loved, included, nurtured and challenged.

Our first few days together, this child was hesitant to answer questions or narrate. But, by Friday, he had proven himself quite proficient in a variety of subjects. As I sat with my students and asked him to narrate the text from the day before, my heart was moved by his beautiful and thorough narration. In my mind rang Charlotte Mason’s words “Every person exceeds our power of measurement.”

It is moments like this, where the philosophy shows its beauty in such glory that I humbly give thanks to our Lord. I thank him for those who have gone before me and dedicated themselves to a greater understanding of Charlotte Mason’s teaching and how it ought to be applied. I thank him for allowing me the privilege to teach in a place where children are strengthened, informed, respected and loved; so therefore, they grow.

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