I have always been dedicated to promoting diversity in the Montessori classroom. I thought I was doing a decent job at it. I know I have done more than many of my peers. But I also know it has not been enough.
After George Floyd’s murder in the spring of 2020, a lot of us had a rather large awakening. I was already in the Montessori for Social Justice group and was reading Teaching Tolerance (now Learning for Justice). But I knew it was also time to take advantage of the attention and additional resource to really start the big work within myself and hopefully within others and our classrooms.
A lot of us started out with the book White Fragility. That book is a lot more about looking within ourselves than making changes in the realm of education. But we have to start with ourselves. Preparation of the teacher, right? Once we can understand our own biases, we can work toward improving our environments.
I read the book over the course of several weeks to really give me a chance to absorb and reflect. A lot of my personal reflections ended up over at my other blog, Andi Explains It All. But I also opened up and shared a few of my stories here, too, as they pertained to Montessori education. But the work and reflections are not done.
I will likely return to this book and read it again. I also have an Amazon list a mile long of more books to read. One thing that Robin Diangelo emphasized is that the work is ongoing. She has been involved in it for 25 years and still has to work on it and continue to learn.
But isn’t that what we do as Montessori educators anyway? We are supposed to be constantly learning so that we can be better observers and create better environments for our children.
I also have the Montessori kid thing going on. I never stop reading and learning. And then as a Montessori writer, I am compelled to share my knowledge and reflections.
So where to go from here? Read White Fragility. Use her suggestions at the end for further learning. Follow my social media and I will continue to provide resources I find. Look for webinars you can take. I find them in my Montessori groups and just by constantly reading. You can also find some good ones via PBS and Learning for Justice. I try to share those when I find them and let you know if you can get professional development certification. I will also continue to reflect on what I learn.
Please share your resources with me, too.
Thank you to those who have been reading along and engaging in conversation. I‘ll be back soon with another book and further thoughts.