Mixed-age classrooms, mentoring, and independence … these are a few of the reasons that an MSR education is so special. When Jordan asked her teacher if she could read to the toddlers, her teacher saw an amazing opportunity to develop some of her oral communication skills. When one week of reading led to another and yet another, the teacher knew that she was learning even more. Jordan was gaining so much from her trips down the hall to read to those little toddlers. Not only were her reading skills improving, but her self-confidence was growing by leaps and bounds. Jordan wasn’t the only one benefitting from the experience — the toddlers were benefitting as well. They looked forward to the older student’s visits and sat with rapt attention while she read. One of the things that Dr. Maria Montessori knew so well was that younger children gain a great deal from role models that are older, but also those close to their age who can inspire and relate. They see them as kids just like themselves, but more approachable and within reach to emulate. Jordan reading to the toddlers might seem like a small thing, but it is making a huge impact on all involved — a true Montessori teaching moment, where the students’ interests lead to academic, social and emotional success.