The Peace Process
Young children are sponges who soak up knowledge from various resources. This
includes, but is not limited to the environment around them. To obtain the knowledge is
one thing, but to collaborate with, learn from and share their findings with others is next level.
Fortunately, at Raintree, the children are presented with a multitude of opportunities to practice real-life skills such as collaboration, discussions, and presentations. They learn how to work with one another by respecting each other's ideas and opinions while encouraging each other along the way. However, this learning process doesn’t come without setbacks. When a problem occurs, the children are expected to work through the peace process which includes checking on one another and asking what they can do to make the other person feel better. Most of the children request space or a hug, but others ask for something more specific to the problem. It is important to note that we do not ask or even expect children to apologize. They’re typically still operating in their feelings and an apology wouldn’t be heartfelt, but rather forced. Although, it is beautiful when they apologize on their own because they feel it is what they need to do. Those ARE heartfelt.
To create a classroom environment with limited problems, the focus has to be on
the positive, which is where peace hearts come in. Every month we acknowledge the spread of peace and kindness by presenting a peace heart to each child. Throughout the month we focus on creating peace hearts and search for kind deeds. The children are truly touched when their classmates recognize them for the kindness they spread throughout the week. This cultivates care and consideration for others, which aids in collaboration and decreases the number of problems. We always look forward to peace heart ceremony day!