Wheaton Montessori News
The best way for our children to learn empathy and compassion is to see it in action. Our teachers, assistants, and staff are real-world and real-time behavior models. Your children witness the adults in our community treat not only their co-workers, but also their students with the same level of dignity, respect, and compassion – whether your child is 20 months old or 15 years old.
The real world is not just role play. In our classrooms, our lessons in empathy are concrete. We have the time and ability to stop and ask a student to look at a friend’s face, posture, or reaction. We ask, “What do you think they’re feeling? What do you think is going on?” We can stop and address an emotional need, rather than barrel on to meet an instutitutional requirement for that hour of instruction. This is another way that distinguishes our school from a conventional education. Because so much of our work with in the classrooms is based on interactions with the outside world, opportunities abound for honing these skill sets through practical and purposeful work.
All teachers, whether in a conventional or Montessori setting, are able to display empathy and compassion. But very few in a conventional setting have the time, resources, or institutional support to include lessons in grace, courtesy, and empathy during classroom instruction. At Wheaton Montessori School, lessons in compassion and courtesy are an integral part of our “real-life” settings within the class.
One of the critical differences at Wheaton Montessori School from a conventional school is our ability to hire and train based on nonconventional skill sets. We require high levels of skill in both empathy and compassion, as well as the ability to help teach these skills to your children. With each addition to our staff, we focus on the intangible qualities that make each teacher a human being, as well as the certifications, training, and degrees obtained.
For more on empathy and its role in education, please see yesterday’s post and thoughts from Ms. Lingo, read here!