Sweeping Lessons

Transient

We have a lovely story that we wanted to share. These stories are pretty commonplace in Montessori classrooms throughout the world. Yet, they serve to highlight just how Montessori allows children the opportunity to follow their own interests, without interrupting their thought processes.

On a Thursday afternoon, after paper clippings from a scissors activity were scattered on the floor, Mrs. George decided to show one of our younger students how to sweep with a broom. He was very keen to learn how he could clean up his own mess. After meticulously sweeping just about everything he could find on the floor of the classroom, this three year old boy quietly put the broom back in its place and went home for the day.

The very next day this boy walked into the classroom, went over to the pouring beans activity, looked at Mr. and Mrs. George to gauge their reaction, and then proceeded to dump the entire pitcher of beans on to the floor. Now, in a traditional classroom setting you can just about imagine the response! Well, we decided not to intervene, to see what exactly this young boy was up to. Sure enough, after the beans were sufficiently dispersed on the floor beneath his feet, he went over to the broom. He only wanted to practice sweeping! Imagine, however, if we had interrupted this process. He may not have been able to articulate exactly what he was up to.