Thursday, May 30, 2013

Student Rights and Responsibilities




There are established limits of behavior which enable a number of children moving and working in close proximity to do so in harmony.  In our Montessori classroom, children may move about freely but not run or push.  Children are encouraged to speak softly and respectfully but never shout.  When children finish their work, it must be returned to the shelf in proper order, and in its proper place.  The following table illustrates how children’s rights and responsibilities  are nurtured, developed, and supported in our Montessori environment:


Right:
Children are free to work with any material displayed in the environment that they have had a lesson.
Responsibility:
Children must use the material respectfully.  They must not harm the material, themselves, or others.  The material may not be used in a way that disturbs the activities of others in the environment.
Right:
Children may work on a table or mat, whichever is suitable to the work chosen.
Responsibility:
Children may not work at or on a shelf because it would obstruct access to the other students in the classroom.
Right:
Children have the freedom to use the room as their needs dictate within the constraints of the rules.
Responsibility: 
Children will restore the environment during and after lessons.  Children are responsible for mopping spills, rolling up mats, pushing in chairs, and returning work to their appropriate spots on the shelves. 
Right:
Children have the right to work undistracted by others.  They may initiate, complete, or repeat an exercise as many times as they would like.
Responsibility:
Children do not touch the work of others without invitation to do so.  Children are not allowed to interfere with other’s learning cycles.  If a child must leave a work temporarily, he or she may continue at a later time with confidence that it will be left as is.
Right:
Children have the right not to join a group activity.  They may continue working with individual lessons during group activities or may stand apart as an observer of group activities.
Responsibility:
Children are not allowed to interfere or disrupt an activity they have chosen not to join.  This teaches responsibility to the group.
Right:
Children have the right to work alone.
Responsibility:
Children are not forced or encouraged to share their work.  With appropriate materials and reasonable respectful ground rules, sharing becomes as part of the natural process.  Generosity of spirit develops from within as the child matures with a sense of self, grounded in confidence and security.
Right:
Children have the right to do nothing.  Invariably in ‘doing nothing,’ the child is learning through observation, thinking, and resting.
Responsibility:
Children’s idleness is not allowed to disturb or distract others in the classroom.

We encourage parents to both understand and honor the concept of the child’s rights in the in context of their responsibilities.  We encourage parents to foster the Montessori concept of Rights and Responsibilities by recognizing them when they appear at home.  Furthermore, parents can honor their children by acknowledging, respecting, and incorporating what they may be sharing with you about their academic and social learning in school.

1 comment:

  1. I'm hoping to complete Montessori Teacher Training next summer, but in the meantime, I have similar 'rules' in my classroom, but I'm curious as to how you go about teaching these rights and responsibilities with a whole class of children who haven't been in a Montessori environment before? Thanks!

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