In a Montessori preschool, grace and courtesy are essential aspects of early education. And while it is easy to forget the importance of gratitude during the holiday season, this is also the perfect time of year to reinforce it in the classroom. No matter what each child’s background may be, they all have a lot to be grateful for and learning to express that emotion helps them develop responsibility and strengthen their self-esteem.
Grace and CourtesyLearning to be polite and grateful is one of the main objectives of your Montessori preschool. Maria Montessori believed that childhood education should begin with teaching children about social life and interaction. For that reason, grace and courtesy were established as primary lessons for young children to build a foundation for social interaction and collaboration.
Giving ThanksContrary to the message of commercial television and radio, this holiday season is about being thankful for what we have, not getting more of what we don’t need. When children learn to appreciate the little things like a kind word or healthy snack, they develop the ability to be positive and open. This is why learning to say “thank you” is so important in the Montessori classroom and how those two words can change a child’s world forever.
Social GracesLearning to use respectful titles and treat other people with respect is crucial in developing strong social skills. This makes social etiquette vital in the Montessori classroom where children are expected to interact peacefully with other children and the instructors throughout the day. Learning them includes such instruction as how to pass a sharp object to another person, carry on a polite conversation, and treating others in the way that we would like to be treated ourselves.
Being grateful is more a way of life than a lesson to be learned, and it is practiced frequently and often in the Montessori classroom. It begins with greetings and salutations in the morning, gets practiced in myriad ways throughout the day, and closes out the school day with farewells and well wishes. It is also a cornerstone of the way student guides interact with students, which is often a noticeable departure from the strict and impersonal attitudes of traditional schools.