Maury uses the Responsive Classroom model. It’s an approach to elementary teaching that emphasizes social, emotional, and academic growth in a strong and safe school community. The goal is to enable optimal student learning. Created by classroom teachers and backed by evidence from independent research, the Responsive Classroom approach is based on the premise that children learn best when they have both academic and social-emotional skills. The approach therefore consists of classroom and school-wide practices for deliberately helping children build academic and social-emotional competencies.
Guiding Principles of Responsive Classroom
Guiding principles of Responsive Classroom: Seven principles, informed by the work of educational theorists and the experiences of practicing classroom teachers, guide the Responsive Classroom approach:
- The social curriculum is as important as the academic curriculum.
- How children learn is as important as what they learn: Process and content go hand in hand.
- The greatest cognitive growth occurs through social interaction.
- To be successful academically and socially, children need a set of social skills: cooperation, assertion, responsibility, empathy, and self-control.
- Knowing the children we teach-individually, culturally, and developmentally-is as important as knowing the content we teach.
- Knowing the families of the children we teach and working with them as partners is essential to children’s education.
- How the adults at school work together is as important as their individual competence: Lasting change begins with the adult community.
Everyone within the Maury community is expected to treat one another with kindness and respect. Adults are expected to model for children, and children are expected to take their social responsibilities seriously, as dictated by age-appropriateness. Name-calling and bullying, for example, are not accepted at Maury.
Maury teachers handle disciplinary matters within their own classrooms, through conflict resolution and peer mediation techniques utilized for handling normal behavioral problems. If problems persist, the teacher will inform parents, and then access further resources via the guidance counselor and the principal. It is imperative in these cases that channels of communication remain open, and that parents make themselves available to discuss potential solutions.