It was a very busy and at times hectic morning in my classroom today - 13 toddlers (4 of which are 2 sets of twins), a visiting/trying it out 16 month old child, her mother weeping in the corner of the room saying she was watching her daughter growing up so quickly, another parent who wanted to speak to me in the hall and so much more. What I do when I feel the room falling into a mildly chaotic state is look for that one child sitting quietly and engaged in focused work amid it all. That child becomes my North Star. I focus on their calm self and slowly feel that same centeredness quietly spread throughout the room. Soon a shift occurs and peace returns to the classroom - all of the children working or playing calmly. The power of one focused child...wondrous beauty. The child in the photo is pairing shoes via first measuring them on her hand. She was my North Star today.
"The child simply takes up an attitude of profound isolation, and the result is a strong peaceful character, radiating love on all around. Arising from this attitude are self sacrifice, unremitting work, obedience, and at the same time a joy in living, like a bright spring that sprang up among surrounding rocks, and is destined to help all living creatures around it. The result of concentration is an awakened social sense, and the teacher should be prepared for what follows: to these little newborn hearts she will be a creature beloved." (Dr. Maria Montessori, 'On Discipline - Reflections and Advice', AMI Communications, 1991, 4, 22)