“Within the child lies the fate of the future”.
Ground rules protect the rights and liberty of each individual child and the group as a whole. They promote the internalization of pro social behaviors and values including: self-control of impulses, consideration of others, and a sense of responsibility for oneself and the welfare of the group. Ground rules can help make life at school easier, make the days run more smoothly, enable children to be more independent, and help develop responsibility. The number of ground rules are generally kept to minimum, stated and presented in a positive manner with an emphasis on safety, respect for others / environment, and the results benefits all members of the group.
Here is a list of some typical, often automatic, ground rules used in most Montessori Classrooms:
· The child selects a material to use from the shelf and takes it to a suitable table, floor and / or other designated work space.
· The child is free to use the material for as long as they like, as long as he/ she treats it with respect.
· After using the material, the child returns it to its place on the shelf, in the same condition in which it was found, for the next person to use.
· The children restore the environment, clean up spills and messes, put rugs away in proper order, and push chairs in etc., after each activity.
· The child is free to work alone – No child is forced to share with another material they have first chosen for activity.
· The child has the right not to choose any materials or activity.
· Children are encouraged to solve their problems by talking to each other.
· No false language, name-calling or any other verbal abuse is allowed in an effort to get point across.
· Physical abuse is not allowed and there is zero tolerance for such behavior. However, we do bring it to the child’s attention how the other person is hurt. We teach children, to use words to speak with people, rather than body.
· If there is persistence in a child’s behavior that is endangering other people’s rights and comfort, parents will be contacted to better handle the situation.
· If there is no result after several attempts depending on the severity of the conduct, parent/ authorized guardian will be contacted to remove the child from the environment.
· After three unsuccessful attempts child will be suspended from school for a day. The days of suspension will be in the increment of one. For example: Second suspension will be for two days; third suspension will be of three days and so on.
Many other common ground rules are established to insure safety if special equipment is used when traveling as a group, or when staying within supervised areas. School reserves the right to terminate enrollment based on the child and parents’/ guardian’s behavior and severity of the conduct.