One often hears the words “grace” and “courtesy” throughout the hallways of a Montessori house. Grace and Courtesy lessons are given on a daily basis, which in turn are executed beautifully by the children with little to no adult guidance. These lessons help give the child the correct vocabulary and actions to help respond efficiently to social situations around him, molding him into a beneficial member of the classroom community.
Grace and Courtesy can be given not only through the kind/polite words we share with one another, but also through our actions. A Montessori student is driven to always have these thoughts in the back of their mind: “Are my actions going to harm others around me?”, “How will my words affect them?”, or “What can I do to show grace and courtesy to my friends?”.
Often times, I get the pleasure of assisting in the classrooms whenever needed, which is something that I thoroughly enjoy. In the short amount of time that I was in our Pear Classroom this afternoon, assisting Ms. Heather as we gathered the children for outdoor playtime, I witnessed many different, small acts of kindness and courtesy. I saw friends help one another to sharpen their pencils, or put the smallest of the pink tower cube back on the display as the other friend rolled up their floor mat. I saw a friend offer to help put away nap rolls for our “late nappers”, without being asked by Ms. Heather. Kind words, such as “May I help you roll up your nap roll?” and “Yes, please” were shared. Two friends shared an exciting story over a snack of cheddar bunnies and cantaloupe, helping one another clean up their dishes afterwards. Children walked quietly around one another’s work so as not to disturb their concentration…the list could go on. This is why our community functions so well; friends helping friends in need!
A few moments captured from my classroom visit this afternoon…
“It is interesting to see how little by little, these children become aware of forming a community which behaves as such…Once they have reached this level, the children no longer act thoughtlessly, but put the group first and try to succeed for its benefit.” -Dr. Maria Montessori
What can you do to help spread grace and courtesy?