Darkness - Meng
Bob Messing writes, " Darkness comes from using intellect mistakenly thereby reducing cleverness. This artificial cleverness results in the seeking of a reality which is already there. A manager must be open, calm, sincere, and serious. He proceeds along the path of non-contrivance. The innocence of action needed in the midst of darkness is the innocence which is cognizant of darkness. Darkness is a confusion which moves the manager on to subsequent enlightenment."
When I think of darkness I also think of being in the midst of chaos. This passage reminds me of an experience that I had two years ago. It was an experience that required me to be open, calm, sincere, and serious.
I had thirty-three children at the time, my assistant was upstairs and I was giving a lesson to about four children. In my periphery I saw one of my fifth grade boys running over to me with a bloody hand. It turns out that he accidentally broke a test tube and cut his finger pretty badly. Then, I took him to the closest sink and simultaneously instructed a fourth year student to call the office upstairs and let them know what was going on. As I was inspecting his wound a child ran over to me and told me that one of the girls passed out. When I went over to her, my assistant came downstairs and made a mad dash to the bathroom because she got sick. Someone from the office came downstairs and I directed her to the child in the bathroom trying to stop the bleeding. Meanwhile, the child that passed out became conscious again and I took care of her with the help of some of her friends.
In conclusion, the boy ended up going to the hospital, upon tending to the child that passed out she was okay and my assistant went home for the day. In that series of moments I learned how important it was to be open, calm, sincere, and serious. However, I must add that it is also important to be lighthearted. During that series of events I was fortunate enough to instinctively respond in such a way that I was all of those things.
Montessori teachers, to me, are managers. I am sure most of us if not all of us have had experiences where we have had to replicate these qualities whether it is with a child or parent. Through chaos or darkness comes harmony. Please share with us any stories you might have where you have seen that staying open, calm, sincere, and serious has benefited you.