Grace and Courtesy…Transitions.

th-1During transitions Grace and Courtesy is very much in play in a child’s interactions with their peers, with adults and with their envoirnment.

Going Out it is important to have a routine, a way to help transitioning without mishap.

I found that the following was helpful in a short circle before going out:

1) To recap the morning and address any issues. Encourages respect for each other and patience.

2) Teacher recognition of how the morning went with input from the children, and chat about what could be done better. Encourages security and a place in the environment.

images-982) To ask for volunteers to check the shelves. Care of environment and Community spirit.

3) Make sure rugs etc. are rolled and stowed. Encourages a sense of order and care of the environment.

4) Moment of complete silence and reflection. Encourages meditation and self discipline.

5) Routine and ritual. Empowers the child and develops independence and self discipline.

6)) Release the children in pairs, if there is a teacher outside to welcome them or line up in pairs to go out together. Encourages responsibility, and self respect and respect for others.

Coming in after being outside can be tricky but with Grace and Courtesy it can be smooth.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA1) Have a means whereby the children understand it is time to go in, a quick ring of a small bell perhaps. I find it is helpful to give the children a five minute warning so they can wind down their game in preparation. Encourages recognition of change and allows children to help one another.

2) Clean up of sand toys, bikes etc. Encourages self discipline and care of the environment.

3) Shoes on or off, returned to or collected from cubbies. Encourages independence and care of self.


handwashing4) Bathroom visit and hand washing..the bathroom can become a “hangout” careful monitoring and adult supervision as far as hygiene and appropriate conversation can make sure everyone understands the way to behave. Encourages care of self, respect of others and the environment.

5) Lunch and eating and nap. It is helpful if a teacher prepares the environment for lunch, including setting out bowels for washing, rinsing and drying as well as eating with the children modelling manners. In a Montessori School it is amazing how children love to eat independently and choose what they eat first as well as cleaning up after themselves. From Laying the table, eating, packing away and washing their plate. All huge skills of Grace and Courtesy.

images-516) Nap, encouraging the children to get their own bedding and prepare their own bed helps with the transition to nap. To prevent mishaps it is wise for a child to have the same spot every day to nap, (mats could be put out before hand) as well as having the choice to look at a book while waiting for everyone to be ready. Encourages independence, self discipline and responsibility.

7) After nap. Give a child time to transition gently..we all know what it is like to wake up. Time to roll up their bedding and put everything away before starting the afternoon activities. Encourages empathy, understanding and self discipline.

images-1458) Going home. A child should put away materials before leaving even if their person is in a hurry. Collect all their belongings and say their “goodbye”s and “see you tomorrow”s this ritual is equally as important as their hello in the morning.  Encourages a sense of closure and anticipation of what School tomorrow will promise.



Grace and Courtesy rocks!

Empower the child.


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