Montessori Vancouver
I

n a Montessori classroom, the guides (teachers) focus a lot on children’s social development. That is, they spend a lot of time helping the children learn to get along with their peers by developing positive social behaviour and positive expression of feelings. The guides role-play potential conflicts and solutions with the children, give the children the language to assert their feelings and needs, and encourage respect for the children’s choices, needs, and preferences. Role plays include how to say “excuse me” if someone is in your way, how to ask for help, how to interrupt someone, how to invite someone to play, how to give and receive compliments, how to greet someone, how to move quietly through a room so as not to disturb, and how to politely assert one’s preference or objection. These exercises are called “grace and courtesy” and form an important part of the smooth functioning of the classroom and as well as an important part of the children’s social development that they can carry over into any other environment they will find themselves in.