“Be excellent to each other.” Yes, that’s a reference to “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure,” starring a young Keanu Reeves. But truly, this is what we want for our children: to be excellent to each other. We want our children to be kind, to be thoughtful, to be empathetic, to be generous. This is why I send my child to a Montessori school: because in his Lone Oak classrooms - from his current Toddler room, all the way through Elementary - his teachers will guide him towards becoming this person.
I know that the goal of all educators is to guide children on the path of becoming exceptional people. Operating within our multi-age classroom model, Montessori guides actually have the unique opportunity to integrate character-building into the everyday life of the classroom. Viewing the development of a child's social self and emotional self as equally important to his intellectual development, Montessori guides work with the children to create a peaceful learning environment. Grace and Courtesy lessons in our Toddler and Primary communities, and class meetings and conflict resolution in our Elementary class, reinforce positive social behaviors, which children carry from school into their homes and the outside world.
As parents, and as educators, we want to see our children become good citizens, to become contributing members of society. How wonderful it is that we have this Montessori method of education to bring our children one step closer to truly being excellent to each other.