We officially rang in the 2019-20 school year at the Opening Bell Ceremony. Matilda, as the staff member who has worked at WMS for the longest, presented the “Timeline of WMS” lesson with the help of Beth, representing Lower School, Jena representing Lower Elementary, Jennifer representing Upper Elementary and Lauren representing Middle School.
The Timeline of WMS takes inspiration from “The Long Black Strip,” which is often cited as the most powerful lesson in a Montessori classroom. Meant to inspire wonder and awe for the age of the universe compared to the very little time humans have existed, this impressionistic lesson communicates the passage of time in a concrete way and allows children to begin to understand their place in the vastness of the universe. Likewise, the Timeline of WMS is meant to inspire wonder and awe for our school’s humble beginnings and to remind our students of their place in a larger WMS community that began many years ago and will continue for many years to come.
After the lesson, Carney welcomed everyone to the new school year and asked us all what we were most looking forward to for the year. Several students eagerly raised their hands to respond! “I’m looking forward to making new friends, because there are so many new kids to get to know,” said Maddie. Richard said he was looking forward to studying, and Maya said she was looking forward to homework!
Carney then reminded the school community of the promises she made last year when she was officially installed as Head of School. I promise “to lead our community with curiosity and an open mind excited about the endless possibilities of the future. To honor and uphold the essential mission and beautiful traditions of Washington Montessori School. To maintain my focus on what’s best for each and every student. To never stop learning and to support and guide our faculty in the imperative work of providing an exceptional education yoked inextricably with the development of responsibility, self-esteem and self-reliance. To engage and connect with the different branches of our school community as well as the Litchfield County community, the nation, and the globe. And finally, I promise to lead Washington Montessori School into the future with courage, empathy, and imagination.”
Carney then invited representatives from each classroom to join her at the bell frame to officially ring in the year. She struck the Opening Bell three times, removed the banner to reveal the 2019-20 school year and cheered “Welcome to the New Year.”
Inspired by the ceremony, Carney invites the entire WMS community to join her in making a promise as the new school year begins. Everyone is welcome to share their 2019-20 promises on the windows of the main hallway.