Grateful for our Professional Development Day

Hello Friends, TNSM’s mission states, “We welcome and honor cultural, ethnic, religious and economic diversity, and we are committed to teaching peace, conflict resolution and global awareness. Parental involvement is important in all aspects of the school’s operations; thus, we work to cultivate a genuine sense of extended family and community.” Priya Dhingra Klocek worked with our staff during our most recent Professional Development Day to help us understand our own unconscious bias.  Priya has more than 20 years of experience working in the areas of talent management, leadership development, change management and diversity and inclusion. Her corporate experience includes …

The power of story

Hello Friends, Last week we took our (9-12) students to Camp Ernst to have fun, take risks, and set some goals for the year. During one of the activities, students were asked to write down and illustrate where they would like to be in 9 months. Students shared their goals, challenges, and hopes for the school year. One student was struggling as he was writing down and illustrating his thoughts. His illustration wasn’t turning out the way he wanted.  To you and me, it looked pretty darn good, but to him it wasn’t perfect. And because it wasn’t perfect, he …

“The past isn’t dead. It isn’t even past.” Faulkner

What a truly awesome week! Our new Food and Sustainability teacher, Beth Canarie, met with the first inaugural group in our beautiful Montessori kitchen. The students shucked sweet corn and peeled pears donated from local farmer and TNSM grandparent, Merrill Fuller. AND, as a reminder that new ideas can sometimes come from forgotten old ideas, we stumbled upon an old photo of the same table top being used in the kitchen with students from nearly 40 years ago! From farm to table to classrooms we are committed to connecting our students to the earth and her beautiful gifts. Lastly,  alumni …

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A Lesson in Humility

Hello Friends,   There is a Montessori Lesson called the Long Black Strip.  It is often presented at the (6-9) level, and it is considered one of the most powerful impressionistic lessons Dr. Maria Montessori created.  Like many great ideas, it’s simple, and in some astonishing way makes the world feel bigger, smaller, more understood and more mysterious. Saying that Earth is 4.6 billion years old is like saying the universe is infinite.  The idea or number is too large to appreciate.  Our mind needs an anchor or a way of breaking down something so vast into smaller pieces of …

The History of Life, and the Joys of Living

Dr. Maria Montessori turned 149! Why celebrate this amazing woman?!   She discovered, through research and detailed observations, that children are not merely vessels to be filled, but rather unique individuals craving real learning and meaningful work.  Instead of being controlled and taught, students should be approached with respect as we follow and guide their instinctual desire to learn and belong to the world.  Today, at TNSM, we continue to honor and nurture this philosophy and pedagogy to unlock the potential in all of our students. Montessori-educated Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Nobel prize winning author) said, “I do not believe there is …

A New Journey

Hello Friends, SO many good things have happened over the past few days, it’s hard to know where to start! Let’s begin with the kitchen!  We are approved and up and running!   We have a new convection oven, hood, stove, stainless steel countertops, shelves, flooring, lighting, prep-sink, hand-washing sink,  prep-table for students, observation window, dishwasher, wiring, plumbing, ventilation system, and plates.  We have a new coat of paint on the walls, ac unit, and a Food and Sustainability teacher.  Also, the icing on the cake is that Robby, (3-6) teacher, rebuilt and refinished Audrey’s prep-table that has been at the …

Important Days in Your Life

Hello Friends, “The two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why.” – Mark Twain Every time we start a new school year, I am reminded of Twain’s quote above.  One reason for this is that as a member of the TNSM staff, we get to collaboratively celebrate the second-most-important day of our lives – why we are here.  We have decided to help others, to teach and learn from children, and to joyfully participate in their lives. The other reason I am reminded of the quote is because your …

Time to lift others up and to lie in a field of grass

Hello Friends, “I remember a shadow on a cave wall that looked like a girl swinging.” One our 6th graders shared that sentence during his graduation speech the last day of school this year. It showed up, out of context, between your usual thank-you’s to teachers and friends. “ I would like to thank Nancy for helping me with algebra this year…” “…Laura for guiding me through my Senior Project.” “Emily made science a lot of fun.” ” I have made a lot of great friends here at The New School and hope that we will stay in touch….”  “On …

Learning to watch for and anticipate the subtle gifts of nature

Hello Friends, It’s May!  I was standing on the porch during pick up at the end of the day yesterday and Nicholas, a (6-9) student said, “Do you know what’s about to happen soon?”  His eyes widened. “No, tell me.”  His joyful expression piqued my interest. “The honeysuckle is about to bloom.” How easy, I thought, it is to stop watching and eagerly anticipating the subtle gifts of nature that come and go with seasons.  I was grateful for Nicholas’s reminder of all the things we have to look forword to as we ease out of spring into the full …

Celebrating our community

Hello Friends, The staff got together after school to celebrate our community, our campus, Earth Day and the life of Emilia Lewis. We planted a magnolia tree, some colorful flowers and painted rocks to be placed among them. Inspired by the artist Andy Goldsworthy and our students’ work based on the artist, we created “nature art” of our own -spelling out TNSM in natural materials found in the elementary woods. It was a celebration of all the lives and natural beauty we are blessed by. Our 4th and 5th graders spent Tuesday through Thursday exploring Cincinnati. They visited Krohn Conservatory, …