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Arborland’s Grace & Courtesy Lessons

Updated: Jul 9, 2020

We are a tight knit community at Arborland and have been relatively free of bullying. Bullying is unacceptable in any shape or form, and this fact needs to be impressed on children starting from their very early formative years. How do we do this in a primary and elementary school setting? We do this by sowing the seeds of an anti-bullying culture. We permeate the child’s consciousness at a very early age that bullying is not acceptable, is hurtful, will not be tolerated, and any form of bullying will have consequences. It is a slow process, it will not happen overnight. But at Arborland we start in the toddler room and the teachers continue the process all the way through the primary, lower and upper elementary years.

The best tool in our possession as Montessori teachers, for lessons against bullying, is our very special “Grace and Courtesy” lessons. These lessons teach the child acceptable behaviors of their time, place and community. These lessons are aimed at showing the child how to take his/her place in the society they belong to. Through a further series of lessons from a set curriculum created by teachers throughout the nation, the dialogue is kept alive, and the children begin to assimilate and learn. You can’t tell a child what not to do or just discipline bad behavior, without giving the child tools for good acceptable behavior. These are lessons that need to be instilled on a daily basis until it becomes second nature. Some of the concepts presented to the child through these lessons are listed below:

* Racial and Ethnic Awareness; everyone is different but everyone needs to be treated with respect. * Facing prejudice and dealing with it. Building children’s power. * Fairness, nurturing justice, and fostering gender equality. * Friendship connections and building friendship skills. * Having an inclusive classroom where children with different needs are accepted, while integrating work and play. * Encouraging children to make their own rules and encouraging self-discipline. * Creating a safe space where the child feels secure and welcome. Encouraging the child to report bad behavior to an adult immediately, this is not considered tattling, it is considered taking responsibility. * Children will be encouraged to create skits, and role play to show how hurtful bullying is. * Children will see movies that show the effects of bullying.

Dealing with bullying is an ongoing effort. Our hope is that with continued dialogue, a strong culture of anti-bullying will be built and children will learn to work and play in harmony. They will become the keepers of maintaining the peace in their school and eventually do the same in the world. Dr. Montessori considered the child “the agent of peace” and we are committed to teaching according to her philosophy.

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