September in Mr. Och’s Class
This year started off unlike any other. The obstacles were great, and we needed to work together as a community to overcome them. Since we’ve been back in person, it has become so clear that all our struggles carried lessons within them. When everything is not in its right place, it is an opportunity to […]
This year started off unlike any other. The obstacles were great, and we needed to work together as a community to overcome them. Since we’ve been back in person, it has become so clear that all our struggles carried lessons within them. When everything is not in its right place, it is an opportunity to look with new eyes at what is most important. In our classroom, a focus on Grace and Courtesy has given us the peace, respect, care, and kindness to start our year off right.
When people have asked me about what subject I teach as an educator, a casual “everything” is an appropriate response. In a Montessori classroom, Grace and Courtesy lessons are, in short, lessons on how to be a person in a community. These are life skills that we grown humans may assume are intuitive or obvious because we might have learned them slowly along the way to adulthood (or sometimes barely learned them at all). In the Montessori environment, children get direct lessons on things like saying hello to new people, inviting someone to play with them, appropriately getting the attention of an adult who is busy, covering their mouth when they cough, taking care of the classroom, being a mentor to younger children, saying they’re sorry and forgiving as well. Grace and Courtesy lessons like these must be given, as other Montessori lessons are, in the most concrete and simple terms possible, so that young children are capable of absorbing them like any other sensory experience. They are the foundation of creating a caring community where all children feel safe and happy to explore all of the other wonderful lessons available to them.
In our first month, Grace and Courtesy lessons have been boundless!
Taking care of our environment
Celebrating each other
Inviting visitors from Greene Towne West and making new friends
Helping each other – especially our youngest friends
Taking turns when we work together
Inviting friends to play on the playground
And so much more!
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