Voice of Hershey BlogThoughts, Insights, and Experiences from the Hearts of Hershey
By Tierney Dewan-Saperstein
Here we are, together, navigating remote Montessori learning. Let me begin by saying, I am choosing to see this period in life as a gift…the gift of time that many of us seldom have.
Looking ahead, we want to give you a “primer,” of sorts, so that you can assess your spaces, actions and expectations. What are the most important things you can do as parents to help ease some struggles and give some great opportunities to your children?
- Give them time. You aren’t having to rush the morning to get to school, or hurry home for lunch or dinner. Instead, you are free to let your child take as long as possible to focus on the daily life tasks. Your children can work through their frustrations and you can observe patiently as their tenacity comes forth.
- Let them concentrate. If you find that your child is focusing their attention on something (as long as it is not hurting themselves, hurting others or hurting the environment), let them work. This means don’t say anything to them – even if it is to celebrate them or encourage them.
- Assess your spaces. Are there ways in which your child can be involved in family life (towels for drying a spill, putting laundry into the washing machine, a stool or such to reach the kitchen counter)? Are hooks low enough (for coats and brooms)? Can they reach their things (dishes, clothing, work)? Undoubtedly you’ll find opportunities to make changes to your spaces to fit your child’s needs.
- Observe your child. They show us what we need to know! This will be extremely helpful to you when you choose to make changes in the spaces or with your child’s daily life activities. It will also be lovely to share with your child’s guide when you connect next. You can share your observations and can talk through them.
Keep checking back. We’ll be offering more encouragement, support and even a little entertainment.
Please know, we are here for you, and we are wishing you all the very best during these “interesting” times.
Hershey Montessori School’s Upper School students recently welcomed local guest speaker Marvin Montgomery, a motivational speaker and sales trainer with more than 30 years of experience.
Hershey students were enlightened as Montgomery shared insights throughout his presentation, “The Power of Positive Thinking.” Montgomery demonstrated how having a positive attitude can change a person’s outlook on life. Students and staff alike enjoyed his inspirational speech as they laughed and participated with Montgomery’s examples and provided stories of their own.
Students were able to see how their outlook impacts their outcome. If they wake up in a bad mood and expect to have a terrible day, that is most likely what will happen. However, if they wake up expecting to have a great day, it is more likely to be a great day.
Montgomery stressed the importance of looking on the bright side and finding the positive in every situation. The students were able to relate to how their outlook on events in their life had impacted the outcome of a situation.
Hershey Montessori School staff and students thank Montgomery for his simple, yet profound, tips. Everyone walked away with food for thought on how to approach each day and the events of their life.
“Change is a great thing,” Montgomery said, “Don’t just go through the motions. If something is bothering you, change it.”
Members of the graduating classes of 2018 and 2019 recently returned home to Hershey Montessori School for its annual Alumni Day.
The graduates hosted a panel discussion with current students where they reflected on their time at Hershey and answered questions about life after high school. The graduates went on to share valuable insights regarding their transition to college, making new friends, and various tips to help students as they continue their own journey in the years to come.
The alumni were also gracious in their time as they participated in a Q&A session with Hershey parents via video conference.
We are grateful to all who were able to join us for this informative, heart-warming, welcome home event.
Many thanks to Mathematics, Business and Microeconomy Guide, Jennifer Snead, for organizing this event, and to all of the alumni for taking the time to share their wisdom with the Hershey community.
A Close Look at Immigration
Immigration has been a central focus of media outlets everywhere. Reporters, commentators, and the general public are expressing views and interpretation of law. Hershey Montessori Guide, John Buzzard, saw the opportunity in seeking greater understanding for his students as they are preparing to enter and contribute to society as young adults.
When law meets humanity
John began by extending an invitation to George Koussa to visit Hershey students at the Adolescent Campus in Huntsburg, Ohio. Mr. Koussa, who is a Syrian immigrant, accepted and openly shared his experience as an immigrant, along with his thoughts around current immigration policies in the United States.
John additionally spoke with Hershey Montessori students about their perspectives and thoughts on having Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) come to speak to them as a group. The students were supportive of the idea, knowing that hearing from different perspectives is beneficial, and that this particular perspective is extremely important given it is representative of the U.S. Government.
John and his students extended an invitation, which then led to an informative visit from Valentina Seeley and Kris Crowley from ICE. In spite of the many controversies currently surrounding ICE, Mr. Seeley and Mr. Crowley were gracious and kind as they presented a wealth of information and documents to help inform and illustrate the challenges and protocols of immigration. The students respectfully asked challenging questions of Mr. Seeley and Mr. Crowley. Hershey Montessori School has nearly two dozen boarding students from countries outside the United States. Students saw value in the opportunity to meet with ICE, and several committed to continue their own research on some of the more controversial topics.
Both guests expressed how impressive Hershey students were and how much they appreciated having a reasoned conversation around their work, which is not always the case in their professional work.
A short time later, Hershey students embarked on a trip to Downtown Cleveland to observe a Naturalization Ceremony. It was an invaluable experience that put faces to names and envisioned real lives over simple stories. It allowed students to experience the immigration process as both a logistical matter and a personal one.
Hearing about life-changing issues is important, but immersing ourselves in the process allows for greater comprehension. As adolescents take their place in the next generation of influencers and decision makers, they must be properly prepared and ready to tackle global concerns like these.