As an adult, it’s easy to describe and demonstrate the proper morals and attitudes expected of a well-rounded individual.
But when it comes to a young child, how do we instill those same principles? Or more importantly, is it even a possibility to teach someone so new to this world?
Sometimes these simple (but impacting) details of a personality go unnoticed. And the thought of attempting to teach, say, a two-and-a-half year old toddler, is daunting to say the least.
But it is possible.
And it’s necessary.
The Montessori foundation of grace and courtesy go hand-in-hand with integrity and virtue. And at Alpha Montessori, this lesson is taught at a very early age.
For example, you may walk by one of our Toddler Transition classrooms (ages two – three years) and notice a few of the older students intently concentrating on a lesson. Now let’s say the Lead Guide now turns her back on these more mature toddlers to assist a younger friend…and the group of elders turn to giggling, jumping, loud-voiced messes.
One might say: “They’re only 3 years old…of course, they’ll act up…”
And yes, this is true. We are well aware in this industry of raising and growing young minds that there are silly hearts and carefree spirits inside those beautiful souls.
However, how these students are taught to react when they realize it is not the time or place to goof off after their instructor turns back around and simply stands to watch them with a patient face. Most are quickly brought back to reality with slight guilt-ridden faces, and the few who continued to hop and yell see their fellow peers and follow suit.
This is when our Guides know to bring them close, no loud tones required in our Montessori classrooms. Speak simply and directly. We aren’t out to degrade and frighten our students into behaving.
We want them to think for themselves, not for everyone else.
We want them to do what is right, not easy. Even when nobody’s watching.
And we want them to feel loved and supported even when they forget to do the above.
None of us are perfect.
But if we can demonstrate and articulate the importance of integrity and how honesty will be their most precious asset, then we feel good about the little people we’re setting up to walk this Earth for years to come.