Each day we give lessons in grace and courtesy. We start in Primary learning manners, such as waiting our turn, how to let the teacher know you need her without interrupting a lesson, and saying please and thank you. The older children are taught how to greet visitors, answer the phone and take a message. We also learn important lessons on the playground, about getting along with others, resolving conflicts, and appreciating nature.
There is so much more to education than academics. We focus on the whole child - mind, body and spirit. We strive to guide students to become thoughtful, hard-working, respectful, responsible, kind adults. We nurture their independence. We allow them to fail, and help them learn from mistakes. Don't get me wrong, they DO make mistakes, we don't always all get along, there are disagreements and tears (sometimes on a daily basis). The difference is that instead of blaming each other or deciding we can't get along, we work through things. We talk about our feelings. The children learn that it is okay to be angry, frustrated or sad. They also learn healthy, positive ways to deal with uncomfortable feelings. We practice showing sympathy and empathy. We learn about peace. We practice resolving conflicts peacefully. We give them tools. We model the behavior we wish to see. When we make mistakes, we admit it. We try again.
I love watching the kids spontaneously clean up a spill, offer to hug a crying friend, or resolve a misunderstanding on their own. I enjoy seeing them make a mistake and then realizing next time how to do it better without my help.
Regardless of the outcome tomorrow, I hope our students realize that the way to make (or keep!) America great is to continue to nurture grace and courtesy, practice peaceful conflict resolution, and to be respectful of others always. Those skills were serve them well now and in the future. "The child is both a hope and a promise for mankind. -Maria Montessori
So, Wednesday morning when it's all over, I will happily go to school and keep doing what I do to impact the future of our country. I am incredibly thankful for our school and these kids. I pray that they retain their positive outlook and commitment to their ideals. God bless America!
Written by Maggie Wertz