Teaching the Soft Skills: The Lessons of Grace and Courtesy

From Forbes magazine and the Wall Street Journal to the Huffington Post and the New York Times, we find articles on the importance of the “soft skills”. You can blame my generation for throwing out some of them with the bathwater of conventions in the 60s, and now in the Digital Age where we spend most of our time in front of a screen, we have moved farther and farther away from simple courtesies such as listening when another person speaks and saying thank you. Knowing how to collaborate with others, think outside the box, problem solve, and show compassion are essential to healthy work environments. But take heart; Montessori has your back. From the moment a child enters a Montessori school, the lessons of grace and courtesy are woven into every aspect of the classroom at every level. The lessons set the standard for behavior, problem solving, collaboration and respect. How to close a door quietly, how to serve a guest, and how to borrow something are just a fraction of the lessons a child receives striking a balance between the lessons in the three R’s and Montessori’s 3 R’s: responsibility, resourcefulness and respect. Each month our classrooms will focus on these lessons, and upcoming newsletters will feature a list of the lessons we are giving that month. Please do not give your child a pop quiz at home. That is not the purpose of sharing the list. The goal is to make you aware of the capabilities of children, and yes, remind you of the importance of these lessons, too, especially if you were raised by hippies, as were my children. Being a good role model is the best way you can help; children watch what we do more closely than listen to what we say. Below the list are several links to articles on this topic.

August: Greeting

  • How to knock on a door and wait to enter.
  • How to use a doormat.
  • How to make way for others.
  • How to enter a room. How to introduce oneself.
  • How to shake hands.
  • Giving one’s seat to an older person.
  • How to hold a door for others.

September: Table Manners

  • How to sit at a table.
  • How to use utensils.
  • Art of conversation.
  • How to use an open cup.
  • How to pour from a pitcher.
  • How to use a napkin.
  • How to use tongs.
  • How to ask for more helpings.
  • How to refuse more helpings.
  • How to pass food at a table.
  • How to excuse oneself.

Supporting Articles:

2016-11-01T15:28:29+00:00 September 20th, 2016|