One of the best gifts from Montessori education has to be the concept of the Peace Table. The Peace Table is a conflict resolution tool for the classroom. Traditionally, there is a peace rose that the children can present to a child they have a conflict with and “go” to the table to work it out. I have adapted the process for my classroom and circumstance and am using a little heart stone a friend gave me. My Peace Table is small and easy to sit on the floor with.
The child who is upset brings the issue to the Peace Table. Holding the stone, they state the problem.
I coach the child to state the problem as “I did not like it when. . . .”
Then from that point on it is a “I feel ______ when _______” statement. (I statements!)
The other child has a chance to say what they are feeling as well. The peace stone goes back and forth until the children have expressed all their feelings and the issue is resolved.
What is amazing about the process is that the children are given a chance to safely express their feelings to a peer. There is the tool for “talk turns” – the peace rose or stone. It eliminates tattling as I just send them to the Peace Table. Nine times out of ten, the problem is resolved by the very act of communicating their feelings. The children who have trouble with their peers need help with this process – but it is a great forum to do it!
Wish we could have a global Peace Table for big people. . . .and it worked like this does!!!