One of the best parts of Montessori is that we are encouraged to keep learning and growing, even when we’re the guides.
This past Friday, many of our guides traveled to Houston to attend a training session on Positive Discipline. It is the method that we, and many other Montessori schools, use to help our students focus on making good choices and build their own sense of community, preparing them for successful futures.
Our teachers learned a great deal at this conference, especially focusing on belonging. Ms. Renee said that her favorite quote from the presentation was: “I am a child and I just want to belong.” When children feel left out or like they are not part of the community, they can act out, trying to forge a connection with those around them.
Ms. Alissa said, “I really enjoyed viewing misbehavior as a bid for connection and belonging. We learned some great skills to help children belong to themselves and be true to their spirits, which in turn prepares them to belong with a community.”
Here are a few key points from Positive Discipline that you can also incorporate at home.
- Use encouragement to help children feel “belonging” to eliminate the motive for misbehavior
- Teach children that mistakes are opportunities to learn.
- Be kind and firm, modeling mutual respect
- Give children meaning work; they feel belonging when they know they can make a real contribution
- Use positive time out in a pleasant area to cool off and then work together to find a solution
- Have family/class meetings to solve problems of cooperation or mutual respect
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