At The Gardner School, manners play a big part of our everyday routine. Our preschools teach everything from using inside voices and walking in line to saying (or signing) “please” and “thank you.” Here are a few of our teaching moments!
Please & Thank You
Starting early using American Sign Language, we ensure that both our infants and childcare teachers are practicing “please” and “thank you” signs daily to prep babies as they grow older in our school. When talking to our older children, every command is spoken in a sincere tone and always followed up by a “please.” When the children listen, our teachers always give a genuine “thank you” to let the child know that their respect for the teachers’ wishes are appreciated. As the children get older, we teach them these words in Spanish, too! This helps expand our children’s ability to communicate with others and helps encourage politeness towards people from different cultures.
Teaching children proper hand washing techniques is not only polite, but it also helps affirm a good health routine. We encourage children to wash their hands after they are dropped off at school, before meals, when coming back to class from playing outside and whenever they sneeze or blow their nose. Singing “ABC’s” and “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” helps kids have fun while washing their hands and teaches them to wash their hands for the proper amount of time.
Being Quiet in the Hall
By encouraging nonverbal communication while in the hallways, we help to not disrupt other students’ classes. For example, we either use the sign for wait or even plan a song at a low volume and tell the children that if they cannot hear the music, then they are talking too loud. If our preschoolers do speak up in the hall, we are sure to listen and be very attentive to what they are saying to make sure they reciprocate the action when our educational teachers speak.
Every child handles potty training differently, and we aim to tailor the process to each child. Above all, we always use positive reinforcement. It’s important to get our little ones feeling comfortable with using the bathroom. Our teachers are involved in this process by reading potty training books and doing art activities to encourage our students to be more at ease with the idea of using the potty. We’ll also have themes during potty training - like “Potty Like A Rockstar”- to make the experience even more fun and enjoyable for our kids. To help our parents, we send home information to help assist with potty training when our students are ready.
Our young students, ages three and up, eat lunch family style, which helps them work on their communication skills. Prepping for lunch is even an outlet to teach manners — having our kids place napkins in their laps and waiting to start eating until everyone is ready. For the younger kids, sign language plays a big role in meal time. The signs for “more” and “milk” are used the most often. To learn more about our family stye meal times, read our blog here.
Modeling good behaviors is the root of teaching good manners, which is why our teachers show our students the respect and courtesy that we wish to see in them. It helps encourage our little ones to practice good manners and grow into polite individuals. If you want to read more about encouraging good manners and proper etiquette, check out our blog here.