“What is social life if not the solving of social problems, behaving properly and pursuing aims acceptable to all? [It is not] sitting side by side and hearing someone else talk…”
- Maria Montessori
What are these lessons?
2. Placing your hand on another person's shoulder when you need her attention and the person is already engaged in conversation. (This teaches the child not to yell across the room or interrupt an conversation).
3. Walking around a rug - the rug is a child's work space and by teaching a child to walk around it you are helping him understand how to respect another's space.
4. Watching a "work" - one child may watch another child's activity by placing his hands by his side or behind his back and without speaking.
In this same manner, we teach the children social skills that allow them to function independently and respectfully: how to say "excuse me" when stepping in front of one another, how to blow your nose, how to walk in a line, how to speak with an "inside" voice.
In this way, the children gradually build the social skills of a polite society. As they find purpose in activities and as their space and autonomy are respected, a sense of calm pervades the classroom.
In elementary classrooms, Montessori students are shown what it means to cooperate, how to be a friend, how to express anger in a positive way, and how to solve problems. The lessons in grace and courtesy provide a foundation on which to build and they set a tone of mutual respect and kindness.
"Life is a gift, and I try to respond with grace and courtesy."