Kids are amazing at being adaptive, collaborative, inclusive and forgiving

Hello Friends, When I was 25, I walked into my first Montessori school. I was touring the country for 9 months performing poetry for students and training teachers on how to get their classrooms engaged and excited about reading and writing poems. I had never witnessed students like the ones I saw that day.  4th-6th Graders working together in groups on a graphic novel, and next to them another group with a large map of the world spread out on the floor, identifying natural and political boundaries.  Some students worked independently and were not interrupted by a teacher or peer. They …

We created an environment that allowed joy to blossom.

Hello TNSM friends, A new year approaches. We know that time is constant and new beginnings are always available to us each moment, however, a new year always seems an invitation to pause, take stock, and ask ourselves big questions. Where are we headed? What did we learn? Who are we grateful for and who will we miss? Amidst a year of great turbulence, grief and soul searching, TNSM was a safe space for our children, families and staff. Not only did we do everything possible to keep our community safe from COVID, but we also created an environment that …

Making our way through grief takes time and a listening and patient ear.

Hello Friends, I remember a parent from the TNSM community sharing with me that our community will be going through the stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance) again and again at different times throughout the pandemic. Denial: It’s terrible the pandemic is affecting so many people, but WE won’t be touched by it. Anger:  Why can’t people figure out how to fix this or tell us what to do?!!! Bargaining: Can I wear a mask when I go into public places, but have  my friends and family over with no precautions? Depression:  I am just so tired of this. Acceptance: Well, I don’t think we are …

Students and staff express their gratitude

Hello Friends, We are being inundated with information on how to be safe this holiday. It’s important, but by now, we all know what we need to do. Just in case, here is a link about how to approach travel, and how to safely gather if you decide to take on that risk. PLEASE be safe. Your decisions affect all of us.Thank you.   In a video that I shot today and posted on our Facebook page, I was able to go around and ask children and staff what they were grateful for. It was a beautiful reminder that although many …

How to help during Thanksgiving

Hello Friends, I have been sharing with families that we are taking every day hour by hour. Each hour there is something to celebrate and often something that challenges us. This hour, 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, I am sitting in my office, with the window open, listening to our (6-9) Ex-Day kids laugh and play gaga ball. This hour, the sun is setting and the weather is warm enough to take off your jacket. This hour, my only challenge is to adequately express how grateful I am for this community, these kids, this staff and our school. Thank you. A …

Enjoying lunch outdoors with students

Hello Friends, When I walk through campus, watching students eat, play, and learn outside, I am filled with gratitude for how amazing our teachers are and how beautiful our planet is! Today I ate lunch outside with the (6-9). Students sat on the green grass or on tree stumps, laughing and sharing riddles with each other. If you didn’t know what goes up and down but never moves, the answer is stairs! One student had a laptop open on top of a tree stump. He was sharing his lunch time with an online student at home. They laughed and shared …

Life is a daring adventure

Hello Friends, “Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing at all.” – Helen Keller The above quote has been a favorite of mine for many years. There is something to celebrate and grieve in each day, each moment. Each life, no matter how mundane it may seem, is a daring adventure. Some weeks make this more obvious than others. Or some months. Or some years. These past several months have made all us keenly aware of how “daring” and “adventurous” life is. Whether it’s connected to our jobs, our health, our children, or our country, we have all been …

Let us be kind, brave and careful together. A rewarding new year awaits!

Hello Friends, For over a decade I worked as an actor. And almost always, before stepping on stage, I felt at least a moment of anxiety. I wanted to rush through all of my lines, just to make sure I knew them. I wanted to see the whole play in my mind. Of course, this was impossible. And, eventually, as I stepped in front of the audience, the words came, one moment informed the next, and the weeks of rehearsal played out as planned. When I think of all of the work we have done this summer in preparation for …

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Graduation…2020 style

Hello Friends, Today our 3rd and 6th graders drove through the TNSM parking lot with cheering teachers celebrating this important moment in their journey. Cars were decorated with signs, teachers held up poster boards expressing love and gratitude, horns were honking, and through the windows we could see big smiles, and watery eyes. This past Tuesday, the same scene happened with our kindergartners. It was surreal, beautiful, hysterical, and inspiring. Our students, your children, are a beacon of light during these difficult times. Their energy, creativity, and resiliency lift me up and give me confidence that we will continue to …

Guiding Montessori principles for at-home learning

One of our teachers recently shared this quote with me. “It is necessary that the human personality should be prepared for the unforeseen, not only for the conditions that can be anticipated by prudence and foresight…For success in life depends in every case on self-confidence and the knowledge of one’s own capacity and many-sided powers of adaptation.”     (Montessori, From Childhood to Adolescence, Appendix A, 1948)   These words ring true for the moment we are in.  We are all adapting and preparing for the unforeseen. A group called the Montessori Collaborative Teacher Support Task Group compiled some guiding Montessori  principles …