Discipline

Each teacher is expected to develop his/her individual way of effectively addressing the usual array of behavioral difficulties which arise in the classroom and elsewhere on the school grounds. As a Montessori teacher, her/his interventions are expected to be formulated based on:

  1. Respect for the child;
  2. Knowledge and understanding of the developmental needs and characteristics of the child as well as the needs of the group; and
  3. The understanding that appropriate behavior must be carefully taught and modeled.

The goal of each intervention is to assist the children to develop self-control and self-discipline. The manner in which each intervention is made is expected to reflect a patient attitude and to consist only of verbal and, when appropriate with a younger child, gentle physical assistance.

When a child demonstrates an inability to respond appropriately to ordinary disciplining, and/or is otherwise signaling through behavior that he/she has needs that are not being met; the teacher should respond in a proactive way by meeting with the child’s parents to discuss concerns. At this point, the teacher might also want to consult informally with her/his colleagues or other qualified persons for input regarding alternative approaches to assisting the child. If these efforts do not lead to an acceptable resolution of the teacher’s concerns and interventions continue to be ineffective, or in situations when the teacher feels he/she cannot appropriately communicate to the parents within context of usual direct parent contact, the teacher follows the procedures established for eliciting administrative assistance as they are outlined.

To let the child do as he likes when he has not yet developed any powers of control, is to betray the idea of freedom,” – Maria Montessor

It is important that the child clearly understands the rules and possible consequences for violating rules. There is no doubt we all agree that our children are our most valuable gifts. Through nurturing and sensitivity, we hope to prepare them to function as social assets rather than as social liabilities. With this in mind, it is important this understanding is reflected in methods of discipline used at home and school.

Our approach is to lead the child towards self-discipline. We try to avoid spending unnecessary time responding and reacting to behavior problems.  The Montessori method addresses the need to effect change towards positive behavior through lesson planning or teaching.  Another famous quote by Maria Montessori is:

“The undisciplined child enters into discipline by working in the company of others; not being told he is naughty.”  “Discipline is, therefore, primarily a learning experience and less a punitive experience if appropriately dealt with.” – Maria Montessori

In the Montessori class, the child’s opinion is respected and the child is asked to share his/her view.

Children want to follow the rules if the adult clearly defines the rules, then invites the child to assume responsibility for his or her behavior.  Assuming responsibility for behavior is to understand and accept the consequences for violating rules.

The school program nurtures self-discipline, which develops over a period of many years.  The basis of discipline is respect: respect for oneself, respect for others, and for the environment (property).  The adults and children in the classroom environment set limits for behavior.  If the student disregards the rules of the classroom, the class teacher seeks the underlying causes and finds a constructive alternative.  If such behaviors occur repeatedly, the teacher may request the Director or another classroom teacher to observe and offer consultation before the parents are contacted.

Guidelines for Teachers and Parents

 

The following are some general guidelines that can apply both at home and school:

  1. Hold the student to standards he/she will rise to expectations,
  2. Make reward internal not external;
  3. To maintain strong, effective discipline, seek consistency and clarity;
  4. Catch children “doing something right”;
  5. Engage, interest the student
  6. Involve, stimulate the student;
  7. Redirect the child from destructive, negative behavior;
  8. Be respectful, maintain unconditional love (Love is not a “bargaining chip”);
  9. Use humor to support and defuse

Dismissal:

Dismissal will occur by reason of tuition default, poor attendance and repeated harm to property or to the physical safety of other children.