The Search for Hidden Gold

As our staff continue to provide quality Montessori education to our children in both at-home and at-school forms during the current Greater Sydney lockdown period, we have been focussing on their wellbeing, as well as that of our children and their families. We ‘check in’ together in an online format every week, to share our successes and joys, to offer solutions to common dilemmas and to support one another at this unusual time. I continue to praise our staff, in every part of the School, for their flexibility, commitment and energy.

In yesterday’s staff check in, we focussed upon our core purpose, which is, of course, the realisation of each child’s potential and the full revelation of who they are, and to that end were inspired by the following quote from Maria Montessori:

“There is a part of the child’s soul that has always been unknown but which must be known. With a spirit of sacrifice and enthusiasm we must go in search, like those who travel to foreign lands and tear up mountains in their search for hidden gold.”

Every day we are searching for the hidden gold within each child, a richness that we know beyond doubt exists in each one of them. These are riches that can, and often do, surprise us with their bounty. This is why we toil as we do, even in these difficult times; and I know that this is what motivates the staff of our School. May these words and ideas of Maria Montessori also inspire you as parents at this difficult time.  We know that the current circumstances require of all of us, staff and parents, the spirit of sacrifice to which Maria Montessori refers, and require this in greater measure than usual. However, when we consider the importance of our mission, we can be lifted to the heights required to reach this most noble goal.  

Above all else, be kind…

In our home, my wife and I have a set of cards, perhaps 30 or 40 of them, and on each is written a particular maxim, by which to be inspired and by which to live. The idea is that we place one at a time in the wooden holder that came with the cards, display it for a time and then move on to another. One of these cards has been on display now for perhaps the past two years, because we can think of no better thing to be reminded of every day. The card states simply ‘Above all else, be kind.’. This is always something worthy of being reminded about but particularly now, I think, in this lockdown period, when our patience and goodwill might on occasion be tried.  

So, I exhort you to ‘above all else, be kind’. Be kind to your children’s teachers and assistants who are working so hard to uncover the ‘hidden gold’ in your children, despite in many cases having children of their own to support through this time; be kind to your children, who understandably find this time of dislocation difficult, whether at home or at School; and be kind to yourself, knowing you are doing the best you can, in difficult circumstances.

Michael Dunn, Acting Principal