I want to thank the parents who were able to join us at Parent Education on Thursday, February 16.  Adriana Crane, the guest speaker, gave a presentation on Discipline: Outer Compliance Versus Inward Obedience.

Adriana's approach to discipline is in line with what we do in Montessori.  It is an approach that is based on respect, understanding, and observation.  Each child is endowed with a unique gift that is valued and appreciated. The children in a Montessori classroom develop intrinsic motivation from finding contentment and success with their work. They approach their activities with joy and excitement, not realizing they are learning complex concepts by simply interacting with the materials. They don't feel fatigued, rather satisfied and self-fulfilled.

Adriana discussed the importance of developing self-awareness in the children. At St. Stephen's Episcopal School, the children have the opportunity to develop that self-awareness by living in a prepared environment that meets their emotional and spiritual needs and by having adults who are there to nurture and support them. Their strengths are affirmed and built on and areas of growth are recognized and supported to develop. They learn that mistakes are learning opportunities and part of overall development and growth. 

Maria Montessori referred to "Inward Obedience" as "Willful Obedience". The first thing the teachers do at SSESH to promote willful obedience, is connect with the children and build relationships that are based on care and love. Once those are established, the children listen and respect the classroom rules, not because they have to but because they want to.

Nahla Nasser | Lower and Middle School Principal,