My first day, I stumble up the stairs with the rest of my class. They all seem to know each other, but I stand alone, in the shadows, away from everyone else. I feel the fear of another first day at school coming on. What if the kids are mean? What if they think I’m weird? What if the teachers are strict; do they give lots of homework? Where are the bathrooms, do they have desks? Can I ask questions in the middle of a presentation or will the teachers get mad? What do I do?
“Hi, are you new here? We can show you around if you like?” says a girl with a group of kids my age.
“Umm, sure, thanks!” I say, and they lead me, into light.
As I survive my first days as a new Fourth Year (4th grader) at Bridgeview Montessori School, I make new friends and find out the teachers are really nice. I learn my common subjects of math, language, science and history in completely different ways than I am used to. At the beginning of the year we learned about creation stories and then compared them to the scientific theory of our Earth’s creation. In math I used different materials like racks and tubes and the checkerboard to improve my multiplication and division skills. In history we learned about the Greeks, their culture, religion, and society.
I began to see how much this learning style is different from what I was used to, and how much more I liked it. As I explained it to my art teacher Sandy in fourth grade, “My old school is a dump compared to this one!” I have looked back on that moment and wondered what a stupid thing to say; she must have thought I was a complete lunatic. But now, I think that what I began to realize in fourth grade changed my perspective on things. I realized how much I struggled in the public school system, and how much I had begun to grow in Montessori. And, I would like to thank my teachers, Kathleen, Cathy, Jolie and Staci. They have never failed to make learning fun or put a smile on my face. They have taught me everything from how to correctly phrase a sentence to how to handle a pressured situation; so thank you.
And thank you to my classmates. They have become like my family. I know they way they speak, their smiles, their clothing style. They are like my siblings, I will miss them my whole life. I will never forget the moment at the Sixth Year sleepover when all of us paraded around our classroom. Willa was filming us, Nick was fighting for a spot in the camera, Cole was balancing himself on Nick’s shoulders, Tess was making faces with Sadie and Sophia, Deneb was jumping on tables, and Aubryn and I were making funny faces and singing some Imagine Dragons song. It was the best. But in that moment I truly realized that Bridgeview,changed me and all my friends. And no matter how much it has changed, no matter how many stupid things we’ve said, no matter how many restrictions the teachers have made on us, we will love and miss this place. In the future, walking down memory lane, the things we remember will never, ever fail to bring smiles to our faces, and that is just the plain truth.
Even though I will probably never be placing out checkerboard tiles again, or trying to put Africa together using a wooden map puzzle, or be dumping beads into the tens container and lining up my boards, or be walking around with my class and sketching the nature outside our classroom door, or sitting in daily gathering in the morning, I will take the teachings with me, forever remembering the lessons that Bridgeview Montessori has taught me. Going on, I will be sad to leave, but I will still look ahead to the future. So look out Falmouth Academy, seventh grader Lila Journalist is coming at you with all she’s got.