Empathy in the Montessori Classroom!
Montessori classrooms are rich with opportunities to model grace and courtesy, compassion and empathy. Allowing children to care for their environment, for themselves and for others provides ample time for these lessons.
Young children are naturally egocentric. Montessori teachers understand that it is the adult’s responsibility to model the language needed for children to learn these important life skills. She might point out the tears of a child and ask if anyone would like to offer a hug. She might notice a child exhibiting frustration and invite another child to help or give a lesson to the struggling friend.
For some, empathy is innate and can be seen very early in a child’s life. These children may be sympathetic criers. If you are sad, they cry too. They may be the first to offer a hug, or a tissue to an upset friend.
Whether a child is a natural or requires lessons to move from “me to we” thinking, Montessori classrooms nurture these behaviors every day. Sowing the seeds at the earliest ages creates the compassionate, empathetic adults our world desperately needs.
By Sarah Kreinbrink
Sarah Kreinbrink is a certified Montessori teacher and a wife and mother of two children, Paige and Carson. Sarah is passionate about educating families on the Montessori Method and has 18 years of experience teaching at West Side Montessori.
West Side Montessori is an independent, accredited Montessori school educating children 13 months through 8th grade (preschool, kindergarten, elementary and middle school) with locations at 13587 Roachton Rd in Perrysburg, Ohio, and 7115 W. Bancroft Street in Toledo, Ohio.