A rite of passage is held each year by our local Montessori school. The graduation ceremony (click here to see a photo) for sixth-graders culminates with each child walking through a makeshift doorway that ceremoniously delivers them through to the next phase of their life. Trust me, this event is a tearjerker. One by one each child is called forth and takes a seat in front of friends and family. One by one each of the seven teachers steps forward and addresses the child by name and recites the following, "The word that I have chosen for you is ..." The teachers all choose their words independently, formulating them over the six years they've spent with the children. These words do not merely describe -- they provide a definition of who they are at their core. "Astute," "anchored," "assertive," "benevolent," "dependable," "empathetic," "generous," "independent," "positive,"...
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