The Last Days of School

  “We shall walk together on this path of life, for all things are part of the universe and are connected with each other to form one whole unity.” -M. Montessori Hello Friends, What an extraordinary year!  Each of you had a hand in making it a success.  Thank you.  We truly could not have done it without everyone working together.  When I think back to the first week of school, (it feels like a hundred years ago) I will never forget standing outside watching children play tag, climb trees, and fill the campus with laughter and joyful noise.  I …

Thanks

Hello Friends, I cannot believe we are almost at the end of the academic year. It is hard to put into words the level of gratitude I feel toward our parent, student, and staff community. Early in the pandemic, I wrote a lot about the meaning of community. How, at the core of it, we are asked to put others’ needs before our own. To think about the “greatest good for the greatest number.” To wear masks, avoid crowds, restrict travel, socially distance – not only for our own safety – but for the most vulnerable among us. Each of …

A Mother’s Day Message

Hello Friends, This weekend is Mother’s Day. I have recently learned this national holiday has a strange and complicated history including the originator of the day, Anna Jarvis (1920), lobbying hard to remove it from the calendar due to how commercialized it had become.   Like many holidays, Mother’s Day has taken on a life of its own, detached from its historical roots. For some of us, it is a time to reflect, honor, and mourn a mother we have lost. For others, it is a day of thanks for the mothers still living and loving in our lives. Mother’s …

An Amazing Metamorphosis

In Montessori classrooms, you will hear a lot about life cycles. In fact, you will hear a lot about cycles in general; water cycles (evaporation, condensation, precipitation, and collection), three-year cycles (the three-year Montessori curriculum), and even the three-hour work cycle in (3-6) environments. As Montessorians, we value and honor the phases everything and everyone passes through. Each phase is significant and important in itself. Infant, child, adolescent, and adult. Spring, summer, fall, and winter. Morning, afternoon, and night. In our pre primary classrooms, teachers and students observed the metamorphoses of butterflies unfolding over the past few weeks: egg, caterpillar, …

Age-appropriate books when navigating discussions around race, diversity, and inclusion

Hello Friends, Over 100 years ago, Montessori education was founded on the principle that every child, regardless of race, gender, or social standing, deserved a quality education. Dr. Maria Montessori also believed that the child was the pathway to peace, saying, “Establishing lasting peace is the work of education,” and developed a model of peace education that is still used today in Montessori classrooms around the world. Unfortunately, racism and discrimination still persist in our country. Modeling peace and empathy for our children is a great step towards a more just society. At The New School Montessori, we are committed …

Thank you for being a part of our little corner of the Universe.

Today I had the pleasure of touring a former TNSM dance instructor through our campus. She was here as a parent and teacher nearly 30 years ago, and as we peeked over the preprimary fence, her eyes couldn’t stop smiling. She saw familiar faces of those who taught here when her children went through the program. And she saw a few of our teachers who were TNSM students with her kids decades ago. They all chatted about people they mutually knew and laughed at fond memories. It reminded me that TNSM is more than a school. It’s a community. It’s …

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Celebrating our own timelines and “my-ness” moments

Hello Friends, The crocus. The daffodil. You can never hold back spring. I always loved Ralph Waldo Emerson’s quote, “The earth laughs in flowers.” Even in a pandemic, the world blossoms and with it, a renewed hope and optimism. One of my favorite poets, Mary Oliver, always comes to mind when winter thaws and the spring birds return. The red-winged blackbird. The robin. Mary Oliver once wrote out her simple instructions for life: “Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.”  I hope each of you has a spring break that allows you to pay attention and be astonished. I can’t …

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“Adversity does not build character, it reveals it.”

Hello Friends, One year ago today, TNSM went remote due to COVID-19. This year has revealed the strength of character our community has. Each of you is truly a hero. With humor and courage, our staff took on risk and the unsettling emotions that change evokes. Our families revealed patience, flexibility, and trust – time and again – as we responded to all of the challenges a pandemic introduces. But most of all, our students (your children) demonstrated a depth of character that inspired us all to be our best. Our students showed us how to be joyful in compromise, …

Jeff’s learnings from observing our our 100th day at school

Last week our (6-9) students stepped from their cars dressed in mix-matched shoes and colored hair. They were allowed to dress “wacky” in celebration of our 100th day in school. This has been a tradition for the past few years, however, this year it seems to have taken on more significance. With so many schools still closed for on-campus learning or in hybrid models, we are delighted to be celebrating our 100th day of on-campus learning. I should’ve colored my hair! Yesterday in the (9-12) I was with our 6th grade students teaching William Shakespeare’s, Macbeth.  We invited two actors …

“…we are grateful and appreciative of the beautiful minds working at TNSM”

Hello Friends, As we took 2 days off of school so our staff could receive their second vaccine shots and teachers from each level could attend the American Montessori Society Conference, I wanted to thank you again for your flexibility as we do everything we can to keep our community safe. A recent article in the New York Times titled, How to reopen schools was shared with me by a TNSM parent who added that he thought of The New School Montessori staff when he read the following: “Still, Douglas Harris, the Tulane economist who runs the research group, told me, ‘All …