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Where we are from November 14, 2012

As the children sang, “We’ve got the whole world in our hands,” I was reminded that Maria Montessori aimed to let the children hold the whole world in the palm of their hands, through a rich, cultural experience.  I also remembered sitting at a lunch table as three children discussed how they said ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’ in their languages.  All of the children involved in the conversation spoke several languages.  That has been the case in every Montessori school I have taught in or visited.  Cultural diversity and richness is the norm.  Tonight, at our International Feast, sampling foods from around the world, seeing the word ‘welcome’ written in many languages, hearing people at the microphone welcome everyone in their languages, I was reminded once again of the richness of the Montessori experience for children.

This year we also wrote a poem online, as a community endeavor, suggesting images from our backgrounds.  I put some of the images together in a poem, and share it here.

One of my favorite moments of the International feast (bringing it home and making it personal!)  –  One of our children came to the microphone after the others had finished saying ‘welcome’ in their languages and said,

“And in Pullman, we say, “Hello.”

Please say, “Hello” to parents and children you meet in our hallways.  It’s a simple way to make our school a more welcoming and community minded school.

We are from . . .

silk dresses

saris

headscarves

kimonos

T-shirts and blue jeans

from shipyards and rain

a one room house

a bed shared with a sister

a home filled with love and opinions

from bare feet playing outdoors

from bamboo and pomegranate

turnips, tatties and leeks

from saffron and rice

from a young maple

and the crab apple

whose long gone roots I remember as if they were my own

We are from . . .

sharing our day and dancing the hora

from sitting in the sun and playing in the sand

from coffee, fried chicken,

and home made pie

from reading the daily paper

from lullabies

We are from . . .

Why Aye, Man and Dinnit fight

and the love of a mother is as vast as the ocean

We are from . . . cue song

North America, South America, Africa, Asia and Europe

We are from here, there and everywhere

We are from.

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