As stated by J. Catapano, “morality is responsible for helping students best apply their education for their own personal benefit and the benefit of their surrounding society.” At Rowntree Montessori Schools, we believe that when students are regularly exposed to discussion and learning activities that encourage positive values such as leadership, ambition, tolerance and grit, we see improved character, better homework completion, declines in conflicts, a more mature understanding of tasks, preparedness and comfort in the classroom, and many other factors that positively influence student learning. We recognize that throughout the day there are many teachable moments, where teachers can help students learn about what the right thing to do is in any given situation, and engage them in a discussion that challenges them to evaluate and determine the most appropriate course of action. We ensure that our teachers embody what an ethical professional looks like, making sure that they conduct themselves upon the highest moral standards possible, while always showcasing responsibility and our monthly values in the classroom. Our goal is to ensure that each student who graduates from RMS is able to successfully problem solve any challenge that aries, and to conduct themselves in a positive manner as good citizens of the community. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stated, “intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.”
Every month at RMS we highlight a specific value. At the end of each month, the one student from each class from Grade 1 to Grade 8 who best personifies the stated value, receives a certificate to commemorate their positive contribution to the school community by exemplifying value based characteristics and ethical behavior. This type of value-based education is very important, as it takes our core-subjects a step ahead, bringing positive values into class work. This year, some of the values that we highlighted were friendship, teamwork, leadership, grit, and commitment. As stated by one of our teachers of Grade 8 Math and Science, “these values are important in helping students obtain outstanding personal and academic achievements.” Teaching about friendship as an example, has helped our students learn the true importance of being a good friend, especially when working together to achieve a common goal. Focusing on friendship ensures that our students are not afraid to share their knowledge with each other, as they genuinely want to ensure that each of their peers is successful. When we teach Grade 8 students about leadership, each child is given the chance to emerge as leaders in groups when collaborating in class projects. Students working on lab investigations in Science class are given the opportunity to be leaders, make decisions and organize the members in their group to work towards achieving a common goal of getting successful results. Teachers do not have to assign a leader for the group, as the leaders emerge whenever the students are collaborating.
According to Psychologist Sherrie Campbell, there are a few important values to teach your child during adolescence, which include teamwork, self-care, how to see possibilities when others see problems, motivation, time management, the ability to accept responsibility, and importantly, the act of kindness. Campbell suggests that “the value of teamwork keeps our children from being self-centered and entitled, and that parents must help their children understand they can only go so far in life alone. A parent’s goal should be to show children that joining forces with others, enhances each child’s personal power and elevates the success of everyone.” She also suggests that when it comes to teaching about self-care, “personal power and complacency cannot co-exist. One should teach their children to dedicate time and energy whenever necessary, to ensure that no important areas of what they need to accomplish are being neglected.” Campbell suggests that “it is each parent’s job to teach children that if they cannot find a solution, they must open their mind, seek the advice of others and apply new ideas and suggestions until barriers are removed and their problem is solved.”
When it comes to teaching a child about personal motivation, it is important that “we parent children with a motivation mindset, by teaching children to consistently monitor, evaluate and adjust to the work ahead of them.” Campbell also suggests that personal success is “deeply rooted in having exceptional time-management skills. She says that we must parent our children to get their most important tasks accomplished first.” As well, that “for our children to be and feel successful, we must parent them to understand that whatever happens in their life or career, the best path to follow is always to take responsibility for the outcomes, both positive and negative, which are the result of their efforts.” Lastly Campbell notes that “there is no greater a value to teach our children than the value of kindness.” Click here to read the full article on the importance of teaching values to children, written by Psychologist Sherrie Campbell.