“Averting war is the work of politicians; establishing peace is the work of education.” – Dr. Maria Montessori
Promoting peace throughout the classroom is a huge part of Montessori teaching. So, although you may be looking for lesson plans and other natural toys that your kids could play with this school year, have you thought about what “peace” could mean to your kids? This is a great place to start when establishing a peaceful classroom because the meaning of “peace” may vary from individual to individual.
For us, “peace” isn’t referring to zero conflict – if we didn’t have conflict, we wouldn’t have opinions, and promoting independence (including opinions) is the basis of Montessori teaching. Rather, “peace” is referring to the ability to calmly handle conflict without prioritizing one person’s opinions over the other.
Want a couple unique ways to incorporate peace into your classroom? Look no further!
- Let your children know your classroom is a peaceful place – make it a “no bullying” zone. Unfortunately, many children are afraid to go to school because of bullying or other emotional factors. Ensuring that your classroom is bully-free is the first step to comforting these kids.
- Discuss what peace means openly with your children – peace begins in the classroom. Creating an open-ended discussion about peace will encourage your children to speak up.
- Help teach your kids conflict resolution skills in the classroom. One of the best ways to promote this is by using one single object to serve as a “talking” object. In other words, if you’re sitting in a circle trying to resolve a conflict – whoever has the object is allowed to talk, otherwise your other students should listen.
- Lastly, for older kids it’s important to discuss other countries and cultures and how they perceive “peace.” They can even study the history of peace within these countries, which could help them to greatly further their understanding for the matter.
With the new year right around the corner, many of us are thinking about our New Year’s resolutions. What will yours be? Perhaps trying to further incorporate peace into your classroom? We’d love to hear about any other ways that you’ve found successful to bring a peaceful environment to your kiddos!