Our kindergarten teacher, Helen, teaches the students a game called the “Tea Party Polite Game” at the beginning of the year. The students sit down to tea and they brainstorm ways to be polite (hands on the table, wait your turn, etc.). When the food is sent around, they are not allowed to serve themselves, but they serve the person next to them, asking nicely, “would you like some?”
The children love this game because it feels so wonderful. Who wouldn’t love a game where you are treated with utmost respect and are served all your food?
Once they have learned to love the polite game, they can use it at other times in the classroom. For instance, when they were coming in from recess, pushing to get to their hook, Helen suggested they play the polite game. That means offering to someone else that they can go first and waiting your turn. Now that they’ve mastered the polite game during transitions, Helen is introducing it throughout the school day. With this intention of being kind and polite to each others, the students learn to love being at school because they feel safe and cared for.