To see and be seen — such a powerful act of humanity!

  Essay written by TNSM parent and Diversity and Community Enrichment chair, Claudia Lòpez Aya! tipeewe neeyolaani During my time at Miami University, twenty years ago, I had the privilege to work closely and develop a friendship with Daryl Baldwin, a citizen of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma and the founding director of the Myaamia Center at Miami University. I would go to Daryl’s home in Indiana, about twenty minutes from Oxford, to pick up chicken — I might have gotten some goat at some point. He also introduced me to topinambur, also known as Jerusalem artichokes or sunchokes. Daryl …

Did our bees pass their pre-winter checkup?

Carrie Driehaus, TNSM parent and co-founder of Queen City Pollinator Project, has completed her fall inspection of our hives to be sure the bees are well situated to survive the upcoming cold winter months. With our 2 beehives at The New School Montessori, we are supporting 60,000 bees who have been busy pollinating fruit trees, flowers and plants throughout our Cincinnati community. We are so proud to be able to help the environment in this way. We look forward to Carrie’s next visit when she will give presentations to our students, teaching us more about these amazing and vital creatures. Here is Carrie’s …

The Best Part of Me

After listening to the book, The Best Part of Me, by Wendy Ewald, New School Montessori students in 1st-3rd grade wrote in their own words about their favorite part of their body and why. They then took black and white photos to illustrate their pages, as the book had done. We can always find something we like about ourselves. What would you say is the best part of you?

Understanding Thanksgiving through the work of Indigenous authors

Essay written by TNSM parent and Diversity and Community Engagement Committee member – Portia Dyrenforth Thanksgiving confuses me as a parent. I love the traditions of feasting and being with loved ones. I know the myths that I was taught about the “First Thanksgiving” are wrong and harmful. I am unsure how to combine these two perspectives to explain and celebrate appropriately with small children. So far, I have tended to focus on the “thanks” part of the holiday. I know from my background as a research psychologist that gratitude is a surprisingly strong predictor of well-being. So, gratitude seems …

Students learning anatomy at every level

New School Montessori students studied and reviewed human anatomy at every level. Preprimary students used clay to represent major bones in the human skeleton while 1st-3rd graders traced the outline of their bodies on black paper and labeled their skeletal bones – some even working outdoors with chalk on blacktop. Our 4th-6th graders wore paper bones pinned to black leotards for their musical rendition of “Dem Bones” where they listed moved bones from the mandible to the metatarsals.

What does it mean to be Indigenous to a place?

What does it mean to be Indigenous to a place? In Braiding Sweetgrass, scientist and Indigenous author Robin Wall Kimmerer explains, “For all of us, becoming Indigenous to a place means living as if your children’s future mattered, to take care of the land as if our lives, both material and spiritual, depended on it” (9). She wonders if our “nation of immigrants” can “once again…become native…[and] make a home?” (ibid.)  Building on Rachel Lwin’s post from last week, I invite us to think about: festivals, fading light, and forming a relationship to a place.  Halloween, as Rachel discussed last …

Holidays offer a gateway to find connections with cultures different from our own

Essay written by TNSM parent and D+CE member Rachel Lwin Thadingyut is the Myanmar holiday honoring the end of the summer and the transition to the cool, dry season of southeast Asia, heralded by the full autumn moon. This year, it was on October 20, the day that I wrote this blog post! Like Halloween, Thadingyut is one of many celebrations of the end of the harvest in the northern hemisphere, a marking of the annual changing of the seasonal guard. Last year our family skipped trick-or-treating and held a Halloween/Thandingyut celebration instead. We were homeschooling at that point, and …

What does success look like?

Hello Friends, I was recently asked, “What does student success look like?” I LOVE big questions. I love asking them and being asked; my wife often jokes that when we first started dating, she felt like she was being interviewed. So, as you can see, I really appreciated it when our board president called me up and asked such a big and important question.     As you might imagine, it’s a topic I have given a lot of thought to, but like any big question, it can be difficult to capture its essence. When she asked, it reminded me of …

Zip on! Taking risks and exercising courage.

“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” Hello Friends, Last Friday I spent the day with our (9-12) students at Camp Ernst. We love this experience because it provides our students with opportunities to take risks and exercise courage.   Students played in creeks, practiced archery, went horseback riding, scaled climbing walls, and zipped down zip lines. Some comfortably moved from one activity to the next with confidence and enthusiasm. Others had to dig down deep to find the courage to try something new. Some watched and waited, thinking, “Next year. I’ll try that next year.” What I …

Continuing our conversations and deepening relationships

“The needs of mankind are universal. Our means of meeting them create the richness and diversity of the planet. The Montessori child should come to relish the texture of that diversity.”  ~ Maria Montessori Moving into my second year with a child at TNSM and serving on the Diversity + Community Engagement Committee, I am continually inspired by and grateful for this community. This community is such a key part of what makes TNSM special – every child and every grown up brings a unique perspective and story to this journey. Last year, much of the work that the D+CE …