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Principles of a Montessori Classroom – Joe Bruno, Co-Founder & Executive Director Parkside Community School Principle 1: Respect     Montessori classrooms have one rule.  That is respect.  The students show respect for themselves, others around them, and  they show respect for the environment.  In a Montessori classroom, the idea is simple idea. If everyone behaves with respect,  most other rules are not needed.  Of course, when a specific incident occurs, teachers try to help students understand the  consequences of their actions and how it relates to the idea of respect.   Principle 2: The 3 Graces - Passion, Restraint and Beauty    In the classroom, we may say to the students, “it’s time to show your restraint because your passions are boiling over”. The  introduction of the three graces to elementary children begins with a discussion about anything that is beautiful is a balance  between passion and restraint. On one side of the equation unbridled passion, anger, love and excitement can be very  destructive. However exercising too much restraint can hinder you from experiencing life at its fullest.  In any situation,  whether it is social or one of performance, passion and restraint must be balanced for beauty to emerge.    Principle 3: The 3 Keys to Happiness   “Humility, Perseverance and Adaptability evoke a response from the universe and fill one with divine light” - Lao Tzu.  In a  Montessori classroom we emphasize to the children that this means if you build your life around humility, perseverance, and  adaptability, good things will happen to you. Each one of these keys to happiness is elaborated on in the classroom and we  encourage parents to incorporate them in the home as well.  Principle 4: The experience of success after an initial difficulty is the essence of effort    When a child chooses challenging work at school, struggles to succeed, finally gets it and has an “Aha, I did it!” moment, that  child also has the intrinsic experience of I AM ADEQUATE, what’s next!  The student starts to build a strong foundation of  who they are and what they can accomplish. It is this self-worth that is the end reward, rather than a smiley face sticker or  praise from the teacher. In a Montessori classroom it is our goal to create an environment where students can experience  over and over again their limitless potential in their journey to become their best self. This, to me is the most beautiful secret  of a Montessori experience during the early childhood and elementary school years.    This article was submitted by Parkside Community School.  Parkside has offered Montessori from the heart in the heart of  Austin for 20 fabulous years. Our dedication to the development of a strong community centered around love, kindness and  respect and the implementation of Dr. Maria Montessori’s brilliant and inspirational teachings is stronger than ever.  Here is a review of some basic principles we use to guide us through this experience.  www.parksidecommunityschool.org