[The] teacher must know and experience in her daily life the secret of childhood. Through this she arrives not only at a deeper knowledge, but at a new kind of love which does not become attached to the individual person, but to that which lies in the hidden darkness of this secret. When the children show her their real natures, she understands, perhaps for the first time, what love really is. And this revelation transforms her also. It is a thing that touches the heart, and little by little it changes people. Once these facts have been seen ... nothing can cancel the impression their spirits have made and the love they were able to awaken.
- Dr. Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind