Classroom Rules and Procedures
Creating and implementing classroom rules are an important focus at the beginning of a new school year. It is through this process that the students learn necessary boundaries to ensure that everyone and everything within the environment is treated with respect. A Montessori classroom provides the students with both freedom and limits to promote the development of inner discipline.
To introduce the idea of creating rules, the students are asked to envision the classroom they want to be apart of. What does it look like? How does it feel? Who and what is in it? The students and teacher create a list of desired qualities together and discuss the means of creating such an environment. Almost always, the rules created revolve around three key concepts; care of self, care of each other, and care of the environment.
Care of Self
There are multiple ways the children are encouraged to care for themselves in a Montessori classroom. We strive for independence and assist the children to do things for themselves. This can include moving carefully throughout the environment, making healthy choices, dressing independently, cooking, learning good work habits, voicing their needs, etc.
Care of Others
Mahan, K.A. (2018). Walking the Line. Frederick, CO: Ohana Montessori.
Caring for those around us helps to build a strong positive classroom community. We care for others by choosing our words carefully and kindly, using nice hands, offering our help and support, including everyone, making sure materials are ready for the next person to use, celebrating our differences, working together, allowing others to work without being interrupted, etc. We use items such as the peace rose to resolve conflicts, a buddy bench to encourage inclusion, and a little library to share with one another.
Mahan, K.A. (2018). Aloha. Frederick, CO: Ohana Montessori.
Care of the Environment
The children are a big part of the care of the classroom environment both indoors and out. Students are responsible for putting lessons away in the proper location, treating them gently while in use, and helping to maintain a sense of order and cleanliness. Supplies are available to the students to participate in washing dishes, scrubbing shelves, gardening, sweeping, polishing, caring for plants, caring for animals, window washing, etc. The classroom is truly a children's space and they find great joy in taking pride and ownership of their environment.
Mahan, K.A. (2018). Gardening. Frederick, CO: Ohana Montessori.
It is important to review the classroom rules and procedures often to ensure that they are being maintained. The class as a whole will go over these items during times of transition, after long breaks, and as needed. Individual students may also be redirected or kindly reminded of the rules when necessary. Children are encouraged to seek resolutions themselves before asking for assistance from adults. When assistance is required, the teacher serves as a moderator and guide for peaceful resolution between students.
Throughout the year additional procedures and special events may be added to the classroom experience. Community gatherings and celebrations are a great way to get to know one another and support your child's education. Many of these events such as birthday celebrations, the international food festival, the art show, and school store will have their own set of guidelines and requirements. Before each of these events, your child's teacher will contact you with specific information regarding these proceedings. Other opportunities for school involvement may include volunteering in the classroom, taking advantage of the library, or providing snack for the students. Again, correspondence with your child's teacher is necessary when participating in these activities.