1Montessori Borealis Group Grace & Courtesy Rules
- Mar 28, 2008*Montessori Borealis Online Discussion Group*
This service has been created as an extension and enrichment of our
Montessori Borealis community.
There are certain practices, routines, and conventions that will help
our online community create the sort of positive energy and mutual
support that we enjoy in our face-to-face meetings. Some of these
practices derive directly from the special limitations of the e.mail
medium; others are simply list-specific expressions of our shared
Montessori values and personal integrity.
By joining this group, you agree to adhere to the "grace and
courtesy" guidelines for our online community as outlined below.
*Purpose of the online list*
This list is for members of the Montessori Borealis community and
discussion of issues and distribution of information directly related
to the Montessori Borealis community.
*Please stay on topic.*
Try to stay on topic but realize that topics will wander, just as a
regular conversation might. If a topic wanders, you could be patient,
tune out, or change the subject.
*Please sign your messages.*
Your name lends a personal touch and helps readers keep track of who
posted what in discussions.
*Please limit your posts to appropriate topics.*
In class (public) meetings your children are taught to not mention
anyone by name when they have a problem with that person. Instead,
they are urged to think about the core issue, decide if it is
something everyone could benefit from participating in, and make that
the topic of discussion in order to seek beneficial resolution for
- Refrain from discussing any other child or family.
- Refrain from discussing personal issues and questions
regarding your child's classroom quandaries or issues
related to teachers. These topics should be directed to your
child's teacher for resolution.
*Please keep your messages short*.
Succinct messages tend to be read by more list members and
misunderstood by fewer list members. E.mail is a form of writing,
and writing can go through as many drafts as it takes to make it well-
formed and effective.
*Disagree strongly, if you must, but please do so respectfully and
in a civil tone.*
Communication on the list should reflect the civil discourse,
gracious good manners, and common courtesy we strive to
model for our children. In the Montessori community there is a
presumed commitment to mutual respect and rational discourse in
matters of controversy. Be aware that something perfectly acceptable
in face-to-face communication, when
said in e.mailformat, can come across as rude, condescending, or as
otherwise negative because e.mail lacks the elements of body
language, facial expression, and (often) contextual depth that we
take for granted in face-to-face speech (or
even in telephone conversations).
*Please be aware of how much "air time" you are using and be
encouraging of those who are more reticent to speak up.*
It is a rule of thumb that 80% (or more) of the traffic on any list
is usually generated by 20% (or fewer) of its members. This can be
just as stultifying to any community. Many people simply will not
post if they perceive that the list is already generating too much
chatter. Please practice quality over quantity when it comes to
*Please make sure your subject line is accurate and descriptive.*
This often means you will have to change the subject line if you are
replying to a previous posting. After a few rounds in a discussion,
the topic has usually changed so that the original subject line is no
longer a valid description of what is being discussed. In this case,
posters are encouraged to change the subject line and also reference
the old subject
line. For example: Subject: Good Reads for Lower El. (was "Writing
*Please send responses to requests for information off-list when
To cut down on volume, send *replies* to requests for information
that only that person needs, directly to the inquirer, bypassing the
list entirely. (For example: "Does anyone have an extra backpack they
want to sell or give
away for free? If so, please e.mail me directly.")**