It is a known fact that if you desire a behavior you role model it, and if you want to reinforce you own learning how better to do it than by teaching someone else. According to Stephen Covey, (2006) you really do not know something until you can teach it. The third year in a Montessori classroom serves an important role in the development of the child be it a 3-6, 6-9 or 9-12 program, it completes the cycle and serves the specific plane of development for each child
We recently graduated our third year class; in Westmont’s case our Kindergarten class, the final year in our school. We saw clearly what an amazing leadership experience each child had in the areas of social, emotional, and cognitive development. The foundation of the preceding years’ experiences culminated in community minded, disciplined, self-assured leaders. No longer the younger members of the community, they reached the pinnacle. What an honor to be entrusted with the responsibility to role model appropriate behavior, give lessons to peers and younger students, and understand the importance and impact of making good choices. An opportunity to inspire, teach, take ownership and be admired by younger children should be a natural and regular occurrence.
Sending children on to new schools armed with leadership skills at such a young age is empowering, life lasting, and invaluable.
Covey, S. The speed of trust: The one thing that changes everything. New York: Free Press 99.