What they do really matters

Hello Friends,   This community is unbelievable.  Every day I see so many acts of kindness I lose count.  Parents from the (6-9) community have volunteered to help with recess and lunch for months.  Many other parents have stepped in to sub when needed.  Another shows up and makes our entryway planters beautiful with gorgeous, lush green ferns.  From our volunteer board, to chaperoning, donating to our auction or annual giving, creating staff appreciation gifts, and so much more, we are blessed with a community of families that time and again show us the value of kindness.   And then, as I …

Century-old Montessori methods still meet the educational challenges of today

Hello Friends,   Several TNSM teachers and I traveled to Nashville, Tennessee to participate in the American Montessori Society Conference. It is always a thrilling experience to commune with Montessorians from around the country and world. We were inspired, challenged, and ultimately walked away buzzing with new ideas.   As I read through non-Montessori educational blogs and journals, I have sensed an almost frenzied conversation around what the future of education should look like. Debates and calls to action for a radical new way for children to learn, thrive, and grow whips us into a frenzy. I too can get …

Pep talks from kindergartners / Auction Info

Hello Friends,   On Monday one of our (3-6) teachers made my day.  She sent me a news story about a hotline anyone can call for a pep talk from a kindergartner.  Two teachers from California came up with this inspiring idea, and it is now sweeping the nation. Upon dialing (707) 998-8410 you will be introduced to a menu of options:   “If you’re feeling mad, frustrated or nervous, press 1… If you need words of encouragement and life advice, press 2… If you need a pep talk from kindergartners, press 3… If you need to hear kids laughing …

We said, “Yes.”

Hello Friends,   We are SO close to our goal.  Your support can get us there. If you have not given yet, this is the time to be a part of the future. This is the moment to make your mark. The New School Montessori needs all of us to do what we can to ensure that when we look toward tomorrow, it’s A Beautiful Vision.   Here are a few voices from our community, sharing why they have given.  If you have three minutes, you will not want to miss this tribute.     The Annex, which we are replacing with …

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Great news!

I wanted to share some extraordinary news. This past December we were informed that a home on Burton Woods Lane, adjacent to the Ginkgo House (our 9-12 program) went up for sale by owner; 5 remarkable sisters, one of whom had a daughter who went through the TNSM program. Their hope was to reach an agreement with TNSM.  One of their emails was so touching I have to share some of it:   “The beauty of getting to “yes” would be entering into an agreement with an organization that’s clearly aligned with our family’s values:    the importance of a …

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Our school has a first-draft mindset

Hello Friends, A few years ago we had a workshop on Growth Mindset.  This idea, made popular through psychologist Carol Dweck’s book “Mindset” is the belief  that success has more to do with having the right mindset than intelligence or talent. The workshop facilitator handed each of us a blank sheet of paper, a pencil, and asked us to find a partner. She then gave us two minutes to sketch a portrait of the person we’d been paired with. When the time was up she asked us to do what we were all dreading; share our sketch with each other! After …

Storytelling over the 3-day weekend

Hello Friends, I love a good story.  The way it engages the imagination of the listener.  How, like magic, if you can mix the right words in the right order, it can conjure laughter, suspense, grief, nostalgia, hope, compassion, anger, or even love. One of my favorite poems is by Billy Collins called Marginalia.  Most of it is about how different types of readers scribble notes into the margins of a book. Students studying for courses scribble, “Irony,” “Metaphor,” or the more enthusiastic reader writes, “Nonsense,” “PLEASE,” or “HA!”   It ends, however, with a teenager reading Catcher in the Rye …

A culture of curiosity

Hello Friends, I was delighted to see in December’s national publication of Montessori Life, an article written by a former TNSM (6-9) teacher (Kira Hinkle) about the previous TNSM Head of School, Eric Dustman!  It was a reminder of how our alumni and predecessors continue to do great things in the world! We stand on awesome shoulders. The article was about creating a culture of curiosity. The New School Montessori has a long history of fostering curiosity. One of Maria Montessori’s core beliefs was that we are all born deeply curious beings. The primary role of a Montessori teacher is to …

Please test before returning and other ways to help

Hello Friends, Happy New Year.  I love this time of year as we reflect and dream.  There are so many things to be grateful for.  So many things that make me hopeful.  And yet, here we are, navigating another variant and surge.  We hope your family and loved ones are healthy and safe.  For those in our community who are on the front lines in hospitals and medical centers, our thoughts are with you.   We are asking all of our families to please test before returning to TNSM on Monday, Jan. 3rd.  It seems certain that we will be experiencing positive cases …

Brimming with Gratitude and Joy

Hello Friends, I am brimming with gratitude and joy.  Thank you for all of your efforts to keep our community safe.  Thank you for volunteering.  Many of you have helped with lunches, recess, professional development workshops, in-kind donations, subbing, moving furniture, advice, events, and serving on committees.  Many of you supported our Staff Holiday Fund and Annual Giving, and I am pleased to share we surpassed our goals in both areas!  Time and again I am blown away by the generosity of our community.  Since this past summer, we have raised  $1,656,656.00  for our Kaleidoscope Campaign (Click HERE to  learn …