When the idea of e-learning first came up due to the coronavirus pandemic, my first thought was, “No way! That could never work for preschool-age Montessori students and teachers.” I thought, “everything we do is completely hands-on. How could we possibly give lessons online?!” Then, things started to move so rapidly. With coronavirus news changing daily and the pandemic becoming scarier and scarier, it was hitting close to home.
With COVID-19 cases popping up around Maui, my attitude changed quickly. I realized the great need the children have to stay connected with each other, routine, and their teachers. Now, when I look at the screen during our Zoom calls and see the children’s faces listening to each other share, laugh, and connect, I see how important what we are doing is. This precious time of connecting daily in the morning also helps provide some routine that is beneficial to all of our well-being.
Learning and Growth For All
Professionally, I have grown immensely. There has been a great amount of support from many teachers and school leaders in the education community who have shared ideas online. Without these resources, my suggested activities wouldn’t be nearly as dynamic. Through these online connections, I have uncovered a treasure trove of activities and songs that I will add to my “bag of tricks”. As a Montessori teacher, without the materials at home, I have had to hone in on the essence of the activity, using my creativity to think of ways this specific concept can be experienced with limited materials.
This experience has created a very strong bond for my class. Once we are able to resume the in-person learning of our school, I can see us looking back on this time and remembering the experience of sharing from our homes as something profoundly bonding. I greatly look forward to this day and especially all of the hugs.