Grace and Courtesy and Respectful Community Relations Courteous behavior and gracious movements create harmony in a community. Politeness and positive human conduct play an essential role in the development of children, thus lessons in grace and courtesy are considered fundamental in the Montessori curriculum at each level. Grace refers to beauty of form, manner or action. It also connotes spiritual strength and kindness in manner. Courtesy refers to good manners and respectful or considerate acts or expressions. Montessori children develop grace and courtesy in order to guide others with their joyful kindness and act as agents for a more peaceful world. Grace and courtesy speak to the art of being with other humans in ways that promote respect and thoughtful civil behaviors. Manners facilitate living together in a community where everyone feels the impact of individual practices. Lessons in grace and courtesy are introduced in the Toddler level; are put into practice in the Children’s House level; are questioned by the reasoning mind at the Elementary level; and take on a certain moral seriousness at the Middle School level. Our role as adults is to model grace and courtesy as we work to be good citizens in our school community. The Mountaintop Model of Respectful Communication Create time and space for communication. Invite participation of those involved. Clarify intentions. Think and then speak honestly. Listen for the value in others’ thoughts and words. Observe how others are feeling. Offer empathy. Accept differences of opinion. Express gratitude for one another’s time and efforts. 25