Archived — Changing Lives

Shyrose Nurmohamed

Shyrose Nurmohamed
Rise and Shine Montessori
Richmond, British Columbia 
Type of setting: Group Child Care Center for 30 months to 5 years

"Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of
Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they
Belong not to you...
You are the bows from which your children
As living arrows are sent forth..."

-Khalil Gibran

Khalil Gibran's poem succinctly reminds us of this great opportunity we, as caregivers, are honoured with—to provide children with the tools they will need to make choices to guide them to become positive, contributing members of society.

My work with children draws from the teachings of our current great masters, such as Eckhart Tolle, Wayne Dyer, Don Miguel Ruiz and Gordon Neufeld as well as my own personal experiences in life, having lived in three different countries; Africa, England and presently Canada. So how does one begin this monumental task of empowering our children to ensure lifelong success?

At Rise & Shine Montessori, we begin by interviewing the parents of the child to gauge the child's personality, temperament, experiences and needs. Thereafter, we observe the child to customize a learning program and establish objectives and goals that foster reading, writing, mathematics, as well as acquiring a broad base of general knowledge including science, social studies, music, art, yoga, meditation and daily life skills before he/she enters kindergarten. The challenge is always to make the program fun and find commonalities that make it inclusive of all the children, as well as presenting it in such a way that inspires a love of learning while connecting with others.

As human beings have a need to be loved and feel worthwhile. We live in a society that has certain expectations. Therefore, we also need to learn coping mechanisms that emulate appropriate behaviour. The best way to achieve this is to try and conserve the living-in-the-present-moment skill that children already have. As adults, we tend to bring our past into the present and worry about the future, thus losing the amazing momentum and mindfulness of the present moment.

We teach children to live with integrity. There is only one rule at Rise & Shine Montessori:  Respect… for ourselves, the people around us and our environment. As our school song affirms, "we are always kind and gentle, we are always mindful…" Children are encouraged to always do their best. As our school motto declares, "Be yourself, but be your best self." Everyone's best is different every day. Motivating children to ask questions and inspiring them to find answers through their own inherent natural curiosity, fosters creativity and experimentation; problem solving skills that are important throughout life.

Last but not least, we teach children to think from love. This is paramount in building trust, cohesiveness as well as confidence. We must remember every child has a soul. To be empowered with love gives one's being the purpose and courage to move forward at times of adversity and celebrate the moments that take our breath away. Everything in life that is worth doing is worth doing well!

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