Montessori Farewell Ceremony
All Montessorians are familiar with the Montessori Birthday Walk. Some schools celebrate intra-transition when a child transfers or graduates from one plane of development to another. Other schools celebrate a child’s leaving the current school to go to another school or country.
Recently, in July, I had the privilege to conduct a farewell ceremony for a child who was leaving to another country. I intended to conduct the ceremony in a calm and meaningful manner that will leave a remarkable experience for all the children.
To prepare for the farewell ceremony, a candle is put in the middle of the circle. [When the children arrived they thought it was somebody’s birthday!] When everybody is gathered in the circle, with the leaving child sitting next to her teacher, I took the candle in a jar, opened the lid and explained the reason of the Circle Time.
“Today, we sit here to say goodbye to a friend who is going to another country far away from here.”
“Let’s wish her well by closing our eyes and say a wish for her into the jar softly.”
I demonstrated by speaking softly into the candle jar. “I wish M will be happy always.”
As the candle jar was passed on to another child in the circle, we sang a song which was inspired by R.Tamingga’s (a kids yoga instructor, whose course I attended in June) song, ‘May The Light In Me Shines On You”.
When the candle jar was returned to me, I put the jar back into the middle of the circle and lit the candle. “Now, all the children’s and teachers’ wishes are in the candle. Blow the candle and take their wishes with you, M.”
After the child blew the candle, I closed the jar and invited her teacher to present the candle jar to her. The leaving child brought back the candle with her when she left the school that evening.
I am happy to have successfully combined two methods of education – Montessori Method and Teacher Tamingga’s Love and Peace song- in this educational farewell ceremony. Thank you to both gurus: Maria Montessori and Teacher Tamingga!
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