“I’m never coming back to this school again!!” she yelled at me, tears streaming down her five-year-old face. “I’m going to tell my mom on you!” she continued, trying to find threats that would hurt her teacher.
I had made the guideline clear. If if she continued to disturb her friend’s work, I would ask her to sit at a different table. She kept talking to her friend, and I kept my word, calmly insisting that she now needed to sit in a different place.
“I’m never coming back to this school again,” she yelled loudly at me again as the whole classroom watching the interaction between kindergartner and teacher.
In my Montessori training, we had learned that there is no need to “break” the will of a strong-willed child. Rather, one should support the child to order this strength and intensity towards choosing the good. The will includes our ability to choose, discern, and decide, and it is naturally ordered to the good.
The entire Montessori environment, and my role as a Montessori teacher, was to support the development of the will in each of the children, to set the foundation for well-formed virtuous adults who are able to make good decisions. The “strong-willed” children were always challenging, and yet always held a special place in my heart, perhaps because they required me to learn to truly love, and it is they who truly taught me how to be a good teacher.
Jesus, the Perfect Teacher, says today, “I came down from heaven not to do my own will, but the will of the one who sent me” (John 6:38). His will, perfectly aligned with that of the Father, is absolutely ordered to the good in all things, because He is Goodness Itself.
Do you realize that God’s will chooses you? God has chosen you, created you, and named you good (cf. Genesis 1:31). Despite your own experiences of resistance, rejection, and perhaps five-year-old-like fits, how can you strengthen your will to be more united to God’s and the goodness He desires for you?God has chosen you. // Mary Catherine Craige Click To Tweet
Lord, open my eyes to do Your will.
Thank you for being here.
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