Curiosity and Belonging – Essay from the Diversity and Community Engagement Committee Corner

Essay written by: TNSM parent and DCE committee member, Claudia López   When I used to be at Miami University, the Center for American and World Cultures, of which I was part, had a Diversity Calendar maintained by yours truly. I visited the Center’s site and couldn’t find anything. It might still exist. I don’t know if I had to dig a bit more deeply. A fast Google search gave me as first result – this calendar –hosted by the Truckee Meadows Community College. Certainly, well-ranked. April is Earth month, Autism Awareness Month, Arab-American Heritage Month, Tartan Heritage Month, and Celebrate …

“…when children come into contact with nature, they reveal their strength.”

Our (9-12) students were thrilled to witness a bird of prey flapping from one gloved hand to another as each 4th grader took turns bravely feeding a morsel to the bird and allowing it to take flight and land from their leather-gloved arm. This experience held particular meaning to our 4th graders who just finished reading the novel, My Side of the Mountain, which features a boy and his peregrine falcon hunting together. The bird brought by the Ohio School of Falconry was a powerful Harris Hawk. Students in 4th-6th grade gathered on the lawn behind their classroom to learn …

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 …

Diversity and Community Engagement Post: Learning More about Racial Literacy and Leading into Women’s History Month

Two weeks ago, we had our TNSM community Zoom conversation around Priya Vulchi’s and Winona Guo’s work. These two women spent their senior year of high school exploring what it means to be racially literate. In searching for a piece to start our conversation, we felt like their framing around racial literacy connects to the philosophy here at TNSM and also offers up opportunities for each of us to deepen our efforts and commitment to building a racially literate community.  If you couldn’t attend, or even if you attended and want to reflect more deeply, here is their TEDTalk and …

Preprimary students stitched self portraits

These days, we are often interested in the quick version of self portraits called selfies, but these preprimary New School Montessori students are going “old school” by hand stitching their self portraits. This kind of meticulous work: selecting thread to match their features, threading the needle and directing it through the fabric at the correct spot – all require significant amounts of patience, concentration and hand-eye coordination. Expanding these powers and planning out the steps of their process are all skills that transfer to many other areas of their work as students. Plus, they are having so much fun!   …

“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, …

Celebrating Pi Day – Students memorized way beyond the decimal point of 3.14

Math lovers all over the world celebrate pi day on March 14th because pi is known as 3.14.  Pi is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. Regardless of the size of the circle, that ratio (pi) will always remain the same. This number, 3.14, has been used for 4,000 year by ancient Greeks, Babylonians and Egyptians in mathematics and in building projects and is used all the time today for simply calculating the volume of a can of soda to understanding orbits, particle physics and determining the density of Earth. The number for pi is often rounded …

Kindergartners create a Keith Haring inspired work

New School Montessori kindergartners study numerous artists throughout the school year with their art teacher, Ryonen Ignatius. Lately, they have touched on works by modern artist Keith Haring. Students have read books and looked at pictures of Haring’s work. In their research, they’ve learned that Keith was inspired by music and the culture of the 80s. For this project, Ryonen asked her students to dance and then freeze! With arms and legs akimbo and frozen in place, it was easy for Ryonen to capture the students’ moves as she drew basic outlines of the positions they were in. Then using …

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 …