1. an elite group of people whose progress is based on ability and talent rather than on class privilege or wealth.
2. a system in which such persons are rewarded and advanced.
For anyone who has gone through a Montessori education - and actually understood the principles behind the system - one thing that would probably be pretty much understood is the fact that merits and rewards are not something an individual should seek. Instead, one should immerse themselves with the work at hand for one's own betterment. Hence, there is a saying: Work is its own reward. After all, children who are given rewards for good work will equate the good work with a treat instead of finding motivation within oneself to do the task. Hence, a child is encouraged to be independent, to be curious of his environment and to explore it under his or her own terms. Only then can he learn that the world is fascinating, that there are things that he can or cannot do and he will react to stimuli as he goes along; the teachers/adults/etc. are there to support him but not to dictate what he wishes to do.
There have been a couple of thoughts about the Montessori Method, both good and bad, but I will not cover them here since this is not why I am writing about these topics.
Lately, I've found myself in a position where I could see just how different I think from other people. True, doing good work would give you praise, a probable raise in pay, good reviews and all that. Now, I don't think I'm a poster child for my school but something that I've read recently somehow coincided with Montessori's beliefs in finding satisfaction or fulfillment in finishing something on your own. I don't remember the exact words nor the article I read but the individual said something to the extent of, If you feel like you've been working, then you're not enjoying your job. Hence, in all the years he had worked in his industry, he says that he has never worked a single day, which only goes on to prove that he had enjoyed his job so much that he never ever thought of it as work.
This belief had challenged me lately. A part of me had this feeling some time ago but, like so many things in life, nothing is permanent and there are changes that are beyond my control. There have been a number of WTF and incredulous moments, a number of "Why me?"'s, a number of sleepless nights, and a number of head shaking and eye rolls. Yes, I acknowledge and appreciate when others are recognized for their efforts; anyone would most especially if it is well-deserved. However, sometimes, even I find it funny when all that is being worked for is the prestige and the esteem... while sacrificing quality and processes. I will not go into any other specifics but that's just the tip of the iceberg.
Honestly, it shouldn't be bothering me at all... but I found myself seething with anger all weekend and after evaluating my feelings, I know that it's because credit was not given to where credit was due. Again, I am not looking for people to say, hey, she did it! Give her something! For me, it's just plain: do not give credit where there is only smoke and mirrors.