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Entries in leadership (2)

Select challenging work


"Pink Language Work"

Graham is in a school that uses the Montessori learning method.  Each student is able to select what they do during their work period (usually 75 minutes) if they have had a lesson on the skill.  What he choses is to do is called "work".  Because his class is 3 and 4-year olds and Kindergartners, there is a progression in the type of work available.  

Graham is like me (and his Dad) in that he likes mastery.  The Montessori teaching style encourages this, however, it permits the child to achieve mastery at his or her own pace.  One of disadvantages to striving for mastery is the challenge that comes at some stage in the process.  The challenge that I instintively would rather sidestep or do enough to get by.  Taking the road of least resistance is less stressful but has less rewards.

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Be the change you want to see

Image from

This morning as I left Graham’s school, I caught a glimpse of this phrase “Be the Change you Want to See.”  It decorates the peace flags at Cowles Montessori - a Des Moines public school that I am fortunate has taken in Graham as their newest pupil.  And without question, the quote was spoken by Mahatma Gandhi - an influential leader of India and (according to Wikipedia) a lawyer.

This morning, Geoff and I watched Barack Obama’s last campaign rally on YouTube - it took place west of the state capitol in the East Village of Des Moines.  His speech last night, like so many I have watched, ignited emotions inside me that are triggered on two occasions.  

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