Wheaton Montessori News

Grace and Courtesy: Lessons in Respect and Understanding

Valuing a Peaceful and Caring Community

 

Every morning, our children approach the door to our school and shake Mrs. Lingo’s hand.  Many parents or caregivers smile at the sight of their child shaking hands seriously with an adult.  In truth, this practice is the first lesson for the child each day at school.  Learning how to greet another person with respect and kindness is an important lesson that each child learns and practices, before even crossing the threshold of the school.

 

Kindness and Courtesy From the Beginning

In Montessori classrooms, even the youngest children are treated with dignity and respect.  The classroom teacher models how to ask to join activities, how to be careful around another child’s workspace, how to patiently wait in line for the sink or for a desired material, and more.

 

Older children’s grace and courtesy lessons are reinforced as they communicate with those younger than them.  Younger children learn appropriate and kind behavior by modeling their older classmates and observing interactions in the classroom amongst their peers.

 

As explained in “Today’s Child,” “Montessori students come to understand and accept that we all have responsibilities to other people.  They learn how to handle new situations that they will face as they become increasingly independent.  They develop a clear sense of values and social conscience and absorb everyday ethics and interpersonal skills from the earliest years.”  (“Today’s Child,” Vol. 14 No. 1, 2005.)