Resilience in the face of feedback

By Jan Gaffney – Principal

Kia ora Koutou whānau

One more week of school to go and then it’s the break. It’s been a long term filled with lovely sunny days, but with mornings being a bit nippy, it’s easy to see that the cooler months are on their way.

Periodically, we have a Montessori expert come in and review the school and give us feedback on what we are doing.  This helps us to keep improving what we do and assists us in refining the programme we are delivering to be the best it can be.

This year, we are having Carla Foster come and review the primary part of the school. Carla is from the States, and is the person who trained Carol in her three years of going over to the States every summer. She has been a Montessori teacher for many years, in both the USA and Norway, and for the past several, has moved to working with future Montessori teachers. She has a wealth of experience and knowledge to share with us.

From a teacher’s point of view, it can be quite daunting to have an expert come in and review your practice, looking at what you do with a magnifying glass and asking questions about why or why not you are doing a particular thing. Our teachers are always interested in receiving feedback about how they can do things better and continually impress me with their openness to feedback and improvement! Montessori reviewers are usually no holds barred when they feed back their thoughts, as their main interest (just like ours here at Wā Ora), is that the quality of Montessori delivered, by schools claiming to use the philosophy, is the best it can possibly be.

Carla will be coming to review the school during the same week she will be delivering the public talk on resiliency.

Resiliency is the quality in people to stay intact, to recover, or ‘spring back’ from adversity. It is a kind of strength and is the topic that is increasingly relevant in these days of high anxiety and stress. How we deal with stress is an indicator of how much resilience we (or our children) have.

Last week, I read several articles on anxiety in children and how it’s increasing. Here is one opinion piece on how “good” parenting can be contributing to this upward trend – scary to read and see all the things that I did! (sorry Sophie J).

So, if there are all these things that we can do to increase a child’s anxiety (which can lead to a decrease in resiliency), then what are the things we can do to increase it? Come along to this evening and find out more. I’m very much looking forward to hearing what Carla has to say.

This parent evening is a public talk so is going to be available to parents from other Montessori Schools. It should be a great evening.

Meanwhile, enjoy the last week of term 1 and have a great break. See in you term 2.