Children are tender creatures. They are acutely sensitive to the world around them and are much more apt to pick up on how words are said rather than the words themselves. They hate to be shouted at and even if the words are well intended, it is the volume of the message that they hear. One only need witness a cringing child to know that voices raised in frustration or anger can do as much emotional harm as a raised hand inflicts physical pain.
The expectation in the Montessori environment is to speak in a quiet, respectful voice at all times. Using a quiet voice models appropriate inside voice level, limiting the noise level of the Montessori classroom as well as provides a quiet working environment that allows focus and concentration to be on the works.
Montessori Values Explained: The Importance of Tone and Voice Level in the Prepared EnvironmentIt also helps encourage good listening skills. Montessori students come to us assailed by noise – television, computer and video games, and other people. Hearing a calm, quiet voice is effective in getting students’ attention because they are not used to it. At first, the Montessori student attends because of the novelty of it, but later it is understood that this is an appropriate and respectful means of communicating. Usually, being whispered at catches a student’s attention, and therefore he automatically redirects his attention away from inappropriate activity or behavior onto what the Montessori teacher is saying.
- Montessori Values Explained: The Importance of Eye Contact in the Pepared Environment
- Montessori Values Explained: The Importance of Precise Language in the Prepared Environment
© North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Tuesday, February 16, 2010.