When you visit Children’s House Montessori School of Reston you’ll notice something that you won’t see at every school. Our children are respectful, kind, courteous, helpful, and thoughtful to one another and to the teachers. We often have parents come to observe and notice how peacefully the children all work together during the work cycle, what good manners they have during lunch time, how cooperatively they play together during outdoor recess, and how respectfully they treat the teachers. We believe that in addition to having wonderful families as part of our community, the Virtues Project and the intentional teaching of virtues to the children has made a significant difference in our classrooms.
Several years ago, we invited Dara Feldman to come in and share the Virtues Project with us. This initiative includes the “practice of virtues in everyday life” in hopes of “sparking a global revolution of kindness, justice, and integrity.” We thoroughly enjoyed working with Ms. Feldman and decided to implement the program in our school because we have seen first hand how “the Virtues Project empowers individuals to live more authentic meaningful lives, families to raise children of compassion and integrity, educators to create safe, caring, and high performing learning communities…”
We use Virtue Cards that include one word, one virtue for the day. The card lists the definitions, examples, and affirmations for the word. We start by reading them aloud first thing in the morning and we read it again during circle time to teach the children the vocabulary of virtues. We also use the words in everyday interactions to teach the children to use the words with one another. We host family education nights on the topic of the Virtues Project to help our families to understand and integrate the language and use of virtues in their own homes. Finally, we find ways to integrate the themes into our curriculum as well.
We invite you use the virtues in your daily interactions and let us know what a difference it makes!