Dear 2017 Graduates

An open letter from Director Jack Rice.

Universities are beautiful places. They are spaces of youth and optimism set against a backdrop of stately trees and prominent buildings. Yet every summer our campus becomes even more beautiful because of the presence of a hundred Montessori teachers ready to complete their degrees.

quad-2At orientation, I asked you to find some time during the session to think; and I provided you access to a prepared environment to facilitate contemplation and study.

Maybe it happened in one of your Special Education classes when Dr. Rolfe or Dr. Epstein presented an idea that unlocked a possibility for a student you know (or soon will meet).

Perhaps it materialized in the library while you were poring over an article for Ms. Haddaway or Father Savard’s class; a question was awoken in your mind and you became a researcher searching for clues, using a methodology that was newly presented to you, but at the same time, felt so familiar.

Or it could be that your mind became settled at Dr. Fenzel’s Mindfulness workshop as we all meditated together, remembering to breathe and remain connected to our thoughts. It is only if we take care of ourselves that we can truly be the transformed adult ready to take on the important work of assisting the development of children.

But likely the moments that matter the most happened over a glass of wine in the Hug Lounge, or an evening study session in McAuley, or while strolling with new friends at the Walters Art Museum. These were intentional settings ready to allow you time with each other and your thoughts.

I hope as you finalize your capstone assignments you will share these thoughts and questions with your professors (Carrie and Jim). It was their intent to allow you to synthesize all of these experiences into a roadmap for your emerging career.

I take special pride in reflecting on your time on our campus, knowing that you have shared an experience that will connect you to our Loyola family and a growing professional network of committed Montessori educators. As I head out to our final picnic together tomorrow at Dean Smith’s, I am proud of all that you have accomplished, and I am humbled by your commitment and your energy.

Tomorrow’s children are in good hands.

Peace,

Jack

*

Loyola University Maryland ~ “Strong Truths Well Lived”

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