Respect in a Montessori classroom
27 October 2018
In the Montessori philosophy, respect is very important. We teach children to respect each other, their classroom equipment, and their surroundings. That might sound a bit too hard for pre-school children, but it isn’t.
Preschool children are capable of a lot more than we give them credit for. By design, Dr. Maria Montessori discovered that children like tidiness and order. Everything has a place and must be returned after use. If something is spilt, the children clean it up – and they enjoy doing it!
You will find children in a Montessori classroom busy – focused and learning to concentrate in preparation for school. Running is for outside. The classroom is therefore orderly and peaceful with the hum of happy busy children. You will find children asking each other if they can join in, but they need to learn that other children have the right to say “no” – sometimes they want to do their own work, just like adults want to complete their own crossword puzzle.
Children not only put away after themselves, they dust, they sweep and they wash their own dishes. They take pleasure in doing everyday activities that demonstrate their independence, including being involved outside in the working garden, weeding, planting and harvesting to look after our environment.
Regardless of the culture, race or religion, we teach that children from all over the world are just like them, through pictures and stories of children in different continents. Dr. Maria Montessori was very clear that “if we don’t teach children about peace, then someone else will teach them about war”.
It doesn’t matter who you are, what country you come from, what inanimate object you might be, what type of creature or plant, what religion you practice or what political party you support, respect is a key value that we need in order to function as good citizens. And that is why “respect” is an essential word in Fountain City Montessori’s vision statement.
“Fountain City Montessori provides a respectful and nurturing environment that develops independence, and recognises children’s individuality and learning within our Montessori curriculum.”