Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Poem: "A Return to Grace and Courtesy"

This poem is spillover from the April 2, 2019 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by Shirley Barrette. It also fills the "Montessori school" square in my 4-1-19 card for the School Days Bingo fest. This poem belongs to the Officer Pink thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

"A Return to Grace and Courtesy"

[Saturday, March 14, 2015]

Turq's parents had arranged
for a local Montessori teacher,
Evelyn Analla, to give him
some outdoor lessons.

Ansel had helped them find
a quiet clearing where they
could work undisturbed.

It had wooden benches
and stump seats arranged
in a small circle for storytelling.

"This is a beautiful place,"
Evelyn said. "You are lucky
to have such a nice neighborhood."

"It used to be a resort," Ansel said.
"After that went bankrupt, people
bought a lot of the individual parcels,
but we kept the common spaces for
everyone to share. It works for us."

"Turq, how do you feel about that?"
Evelyn said, turning toward him.

"I'd go nuts without it," Turq said.
"Being human is ... hard, now. I can
go into town for a little while, but it
takes a lot of energy. I need
the peace and quiet here."

"Okay," Evelyn said. "It's
good to know your needs
and how to meet them."

"So ... what are we going
to do today?" Turq asked,
his fingers fidgeting with
the frayed hem of his vest.

"That's up to you," Evelyn said.
"I know the whole curriculum, and I'm
used to working both as a class teacher
for children and an educational consultant
for adults. We'll figure out what you want
and then make it happen for you."

"Okay," Turq said. "I think I can
do that. Where do we start?"

"We can start at the beginning,
or skip ahead to where you left off,"
Evelyn said. "I don't want you to feel
like I'm babying you, but I don't want
to miss things you need, either."

"Maybe start at the beginning,
skip stuff I'm sure I know, and
check if I'm not sure?" Turq said.

"We can do that," Evelyn said.
"Ansel, are you learning today,
or just watching us work?"

"Whatever Turq wants,"
Ansel said. "I'm always up
for learning something new,
though. It's fun, and it might
come in handy at work. I deal
with children quite often."

That was how he wound up
with pink hair, in fact -- which
had redefined Ansel's entire life.

"You can do the lessons if
you want to," Turq said.

"Okay," Evelyn said. "I have
a list of basic exercises in
Grace and Courtesy. I'll read
them one at a time, and you
can tell me if you're confident
in that skill or need to check it."

"Sounds good," Turq said. "Go."

"Carrying a mat?" Evelyn asked.
She had one tucked under her arm.

"Got it," Turq said, and Ansel nodded.

"Unrolling and rolling a mat?"
Evelyn asked them next.

"Yes," Turq said.

"Walking around a mat?"
Evelyn went on.

Turq hesitated. "Well ...
I know how, but I'm having
balance problems. My body
forgets how to work, sometimes."

"Then this is a good exercise
to start," Evelyn said. "I will
show you how to walk around
a mat, and then you can practice.
That should help your balance."

She placed the mat on the ground
and unrolled it very meticulously.

"Watch closely as I walk around
this mat," Evelyn said. Carefully she
placed each foot just beside the edge,
walking along the long side.

When she came to a corner,
she emphasized going all the way
around its point instead of cutting
the corner by stepping over it.

Once she returned to the start,
she said, "Now you know how
to walk around a mat. Who
would like to take the next turn?"

Turq looked at Ansel.

"I'll go," Ansel said, and
stood up from his stump.

He followed what Evelyn
had done, placing his feet
with care each time.

"Well done," she said.
"Turq, would you like to try?"

"Yeah," he said. "It's just ...
hard to tell where I am, what
my body is doing, sometimes."

"Okay, let's work with that,"
Evelyn said. "Look for the mat.
Take your place by a corner.
Feel your body. Feel the ground
under you -- we are outdoors, so
it is a little uneven. You will need
to pay attention to the bumps
as you walk around the mat."

Turq concentrated on following
her instructions, paying attention
to each step in turn. He found that
consciously focusing on his body
helped with the movement.

When he finished walking
around the mat, he said, "I think
I found part of the problem. I'm used
to trying to get my mind out of my body.
That's good for meditation, but maybe
not so good for physical coordination."

"Yep, I've seen that before," Ansel said.
"It happens in police training sometimes,
if we do too much mindfulness meditation
or legal theory. The teachers are supposed
to schedule a physical activity afterwards to get
people back in their bodies. Now that I've seen
this, I think a reminder like yours might help more."

"I can show you Montessori exercises,"
Evelyn said. "Full training takes years, but
anyone can learn to apply the principles.
A good lesson really relies on breaking
things down into tiny little steps so
people understand how to do them."

"Yeah, that's what I loved most about
Montessori when I went there," Turq said.
"The teachers never leaned on us, but they
could explain everything so it made sense."

"That's why we decided to hire you as
an educational consultant," Ansel said.
"Turq has huge gaps in his education, and
he cited Grace and Courtesy along with
Practical Life as his favorites. It seemed
like a good way to help his problem areas."

"I'm sorry such terrible things happened
to you, Turq," said Evelyn. "I hope that
a return to Grace and Courtesy will help
you feel better as well as learn more."

"It does," Turq said instantly. "It's like ...
most of the time, being with people takes
work, but Montessori makes me feel relaxed.
Like I don't have to push so hard all the time."

"You don't," Evelyn said. "Take your time.
This is not a race. Learning takes as
long as it takes. We want you to feel
comfortable and then accomplished."

Turq walked around the mat again,
feeling for his body with every step.

It was surprisingly easy to find
when he paid attention to it.

"Yeah," he said. "I got this."

* * *


Evelyn Analla -- She has pale skin, brown eyes, and long straight brown hair usually pulled back in a ponytail or bun. She wears glasses. Evelyn attended Barry University in Miami Shores, Florida. There she earned a combined degree, Master of Education in Montessori Methods, a 5-year program that spans Infancy, Early Childhood, Elementary, Erdkinder, and Adult sections with one school year spent on each. She also took a 5-year combined minor in Psychology. Currently Evelyn lives in Bluehill, Missouri where she works as a substitute teacher at Montessori schools. She also gives private lessons in Montessori style.
Qualities: Good (+2) Grace, Good (+2) Interpersonal Intelligence, Good (+2) Making Friends, Good (+2) Montessori Teacher, Good (+2) Patience
Poor (-2) Needs Glasses


at Barry University in Miami Shores, Florida


T-America offers a combined degree for Master of Education in Montessori Methods, a 5-year program that spans Infancy, Early Childhood, Elementary, Erdkinder, and Adult sections with one school year spent on each. Each semester, students typically take 2-3 classes (6-9 credits) in their major, 1-2 classes (3-6 credits) in their minor, and 1-2 classes (3-6 credits) for other purposes. Some classes such as practicums often have summer sessions, allowing students to take more classes in fall and spring semesters.

Some additional T-American classes include:
Montessori in the Home
The Montessori Infant Room
The Montessori Toddler Room
The Montessori Elementary Room
Montessori Spaces for Adolescents
Montessori Spaces for Adults
Toys and Tools for Montessori Youth
Montessori Through Puberty
Erdkinder Theories of Adolescence
Erdkinder Activities for Practical Adolescence
Erdkinder Sexual and Relational Education
Montessori for Adults
Montessori for Employees
Montessori for Managers
Montessori Marriage Preparation
Parenting with Montessori Methods
Montessori Methods on the Job
Montessori Methods for Educational Consultants
Exploring Superpowers with Montessori Methods
Independent Study
Senior Project
Senior Thesis

MINOR IN PSYCHOLOGY at Barry University in Miami Shores, Florida
The psychology minor (21 cr.) requires PSY 281, 283, 325, 413, and 9 elective credits within the discipline with a minimum grade of C. For the remaining 9 credits, students can choose from a variety of courses.
A minor in psychology can be an asset to people with bachelors degrees in many fields. A psychology minor is appropriate for students interested in graduate study in business, law, education, social work, and medical fields.


Core Classes:

281 Introduction to Psychology (3)
Survey of general principles underlying human behavior, including the study of the nervous system, perception, learning, emotion, personality and mental disorders. (Fall, Spring, Summer)

283 Developmental Psychology (3)
Analysis of human development from conception through old age, with emphasis on theory and research as they relate to changes in physiological, cognitive, and affective processes throughout the lifespan. Prerequisite: PSY 281. (Fall, Spring, Summer)

325 Theories of Personality (3)
Survey of theoretical approaches to the study of personality, from Freudian theory to contemporary theories. Prerequisite: PSY 281. (Fall, Spring, and Summer)

413 Abnormal Psychology (3)
Theories of abnormal behavior, pathological syndromes, methods of treatment, and prevention. Prerequisite: PSY 281. (Fall, Spring, and Summer).


315 Psychology of Family (3)
This course is a comprehensive survey of the psychology of the family with historical and current perspectives of Western Culture. Theoretical perspective focus on how families organize themselves, how they function and how they develop along the life span. Analysis also examines the five primary aspects of family psychology; the family dating, courtships, and marriage; and family dysfunctions. Prerequisite: PSY 281 (Fall).

417 Psychology of Aging (3)
Analysis of the factors characterizing normal aging: biological and perceptual changes, social processes, work and retirement, family, sexuality, cognition, personality. Disorders associated with aging are also covered. Prerequisite: PSY 281. (Occasional offering)

451 Child and Adolescent Psychology (3)
This course is designed to describe and explain the interplay of biological and contextual influences on the physical, cognitive and social-emotional development of children and adolescents. Prerequisite PSY 281. (Fall)

Combined Degree 5-year Minor Additions:
The extended program adds two classes at 500 level and two classes at 600 level, from any offerings in the Psychology Department. Graduate students are also required to write a paper, either summarizing what they have learned in the minor or presenting a personal project.

A survey of issues, theories and scientific findings with regard to physiological, developmental and emotional aspects of sexuality, as well as issues of sexual dysfunction and its treatment. (Summer Bi-Annually)

Physical, intellectual, social, and emotional development throughout the lifespan. Prerequisite: PSY 382 or equivalent (Spring)

Historical foundations, contemporary theory, and research in the area of personality. Prerequisite: PSY 325 or equivalent (Fall)

Includes issues related to assessment, counseling, and consultation. Prerequisite: PSY 641. (Summer Bi-Annually)

Evelyn's Schedule:

Freshman Fall (Infant)
600 Introduction to Montessori (3)
601 Montessori Methods and Materials I (3)
Montessori in the Home (T-American)
281 Introduction to Psychology (3)

Freshman Spring (Infant)
602 Montessori Methods and Materials II (4)
603 Montessori and Child Development (3)
The Montessori Infant Room (T-American)
283 Developmental Psychology (3)

Sophomore Fall (Early Childhood)
607 Humanities in the Montessori Early Childhood Classroom (3)
The Montessori Toddler Room (T-American)
325 Theories of Personality (3)

Sophomore Spring (Early Childhood)
626 Sciences in the Montessori Early childhood Classroom (3)
640 Montessori Early Childhood Curriculum
649 Management for Montessori Teachers (3)
413 Abnormal Psychology (3)

Junior Fall (Elementary)
633 Humanities in the Montessori Classroom (3)
641 Montessori Elementary Curriculum
605 Language Arts for Montessori Teachers (3)
315 Psychology of Family (3)

Junior Spring (Elementary)
650 Classroom Leadership for Montessori Elementary Teachers (3)
628 Life Sciences for Montessori Teachers (3)
417 Psychology of Aging (3)
451 Child and Adolescent Psychology (3)

Junior Summer (Elementary)
656 Practicum I (3)
657 Practicum II (3)
631 Math I or the Montessori Teacher (3)
632 Math II for the Montessori Teacher (3)

Senior Fall (Erdkinder)
629 Physical/Social Sciences for Montessori Teachers (3)
Montessori Spaces for Adolescents (T-American)
Erdkinder Theories of Adolescence (T-American)

Senior Spring (Erdkinder)
Erdkinder Activities for Practical Adolescence (T-American)
Erdkinder Sexual and Relational Education (T-American)

Senior Summer (Erdkinder)
659 Practicum I (3)
660 Practicum II (3)

Graduate Fall (Adult)
Montessori for Adults (T-American)
Parenting with Montessori Methods (T-American)
Montessori Methods for Educational Consultants (T-American)

Graduate Spring (Adult)
Exploring Superpowers with Montessori Methods (T-American)
Senior Project (T-American)

* * *

See the small and medium storytelling circles in the Island Resort neighborhood. The featured lesson uses the small one.

Montessori education follows certain principles for natural learning.

Grace and Courtesy is one of the main subjects in Montessori school. The early lessons include carrying a mat, unrolling a mat, and how to walk around a mat. Teaching these basic courtesies in a methodical manner allows children to interact gracefully. This is why Montessori classrooms tend to be quiet, happy places and you don't see children run around the room screaming and pushing each other.

Montessori mats or rugs are used to define a child's working space on the floor or table. Children are taught to move around each other's workspace and not intrude on someone else's mat without permission. This minimizes the chance of children tripping over each other, stepping on or knocking over a project, etc. As Evelyn showed Turq, the mats also make an excellent focus for practicing balance.
Tags: cyberfunded creativity, education, family skills, fantasy, fishbowl, poem, poetry, reading, safety, weblit, writing
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