Stepping Into the Second Plane
As we enter the time of year where we are searching for signs of Spring, I am reminded to take notice of the signs that children are stepping into the second plane of development. There are many signs that our once sweet cheeked little ones are becoming a whole new child. They start to loose their baby teeth, their hair may become darker, and all of a sudden they are all legs and arms.
There are also key internal changes that we can observe. The strong sense of physical order that children in the first plane of development are so tuned into seems to disappear. The second plane child no longer cares where they lay down their belongings, and often puts them in the least inconvenient places :)
But this sense of order has not actually disappeared from our children, it has just shifted in focus. The second plane child's sense of order is now focused on their social community and peers. The children of this age are tuning into how people fit together and where their personal place is among humanity. This is the major work of the second plane child: to recognize oneself as a valued member of a society and to develop the skills to balance the needs of the self with the needs of a community.
Within the Montessori classroom we offer the children the opportunity to learn and practice the social skills necessary to thrive in society. We support the children in developing their sense of belonging while working through the many authentic challenges that come with developing a cooperative and productive society.
While the developmental theme of the first plane child is, "Help me do it myself", the developmental theme of the second plane children is, "Help US do it ourselves."