“I’m just saying we can all work on our manners. We can say please and thank you. We can be punctual. We can just be nicer to one another. It’s something we have in our power to do.”
Made me think yes, actually, we can a little Grace and Courtesy goes a long way.
What better time to introduce, model and live a life with Grace and Courtesy than the beginning of the School year in your Montessori classroom?
Children come in first thing in the morning bursting with enthusiasm, laughing and chatting; or, the opposite full of nerves, about to burst into tears and clinging on to “their person’s” leg.
Time to get Grace and Courtesy rolling!
1) A gentle smile, (too happy is sometimes scary)
2) A “I am so glad to see you at School today..Claire” and a “Good morning” to the child’s person.
4) Encourage the children to help each other, for example “Zoey has just arrived could you please scoot over so she can join us in circle”
5) Always make a child feel welcome, it’s usually not their fault if they are late.
6) Be kind..no matter how icky your day is.
7) Defusing with humour. Role playing at circle time is an amazing way to get your Grace and Courtesy message across. A sort of “good cop..bad cop” acting with the child. Always raises much laughter and many questions and suggestions as to how we should behave towards each other.
8) Empathy, everyone feels good if they are understood “I see you are feeling rushed today Sarah..did you manage to have breakfast..would you like a piece of apple to start your day?”
9) Compassion “yes, it is hard to say bye to Mummy, I think she’ll be ok while you are here with your friends, don’t you? shall we say “goodbye, see you later” together?”
10) Sitting in Circle, leave some wriggle room and remember the children are your captive audience do them the courtesy of keeping it short and sweet. To help the children settle this little ditty with the movements helps ” I roll my hands, I shake my hands, I give a little clap, I roll my hands, I shake my hands, I lay them in my lap”
11) When you ask a question really listen, looking at the child with quiet attention,( as we do with our lesson demonstrations) soon you will find the children emulating you. If another child is distracting you ” Joey I’m sorry, I shall have to ask you to stop a minute as Jane has something she would like to share with us, Jane could you wait until Joey has finished? thank you. Joey I apologise for the interruption please go on” using language like this empowers the child and they feel their place in the School is valid. Soon they will pick up that when it is their turn to talk everyone will really listen.
So Day started, more later…
How do you encourage Grace and Courtesy at the beginning of the day and Circle time?