From the Captain
In honor of the month of love, I have been doing some reflection on the many ways I love our school. Firstly, I love the teachers and staff. In our school, there are thirty second hugs happening at any moment. There are big smiles as we pass one another in the halls, break room, office or kitchen. There is laughter during team meetings, on the playground, in the classroom. There is an underlying positivity and culture of helpfulness that is the beating heart of our school; my own heart swells with love as I reflect on the individual and collective talents and contributions of every person who works at pdxMC. Secondly I love the parents. You are incredible. You met the unprecedented interruptions of our schedule with profound grace. You show up to our parent events, volunteer to support our program, and join us for lunch. You create the most precious humans and entrust them to us. I see how hard you work, I recognize your contributions, and I thank you for supporting Montessori education and world peace. Finally, I love the children. They make it so easy, with their enthusiastic hugs and sincere stories. I love them for teaching me how to be a better person and teacher. I am reminded multiple times daily of how much I love our school, and how fortunate I am to be surrounded by love.
Like most Montessorians, something else I love is brain science. When Steven Hughes, a pediatric neuropsychiatrist took an interest in Montessori education and how it aligns with optimal brain development in young children Montessorians worldwide rejoiced. Finally we had someone who would bridge the gap between research and Montessori pedagogy. While it is affirming to know that our practice aligns with positive academic outcomes it is critical to recognize the value and importance of our social curriculum as well. While we are confident that our curriculum supports academic outcomes, it’s essential to provide children opportunities to develop empathy, compassion, resilience, and confidence. We consider the Montessori classroom a place that is friendly with error. This doesn’t just apply to the didactic materials but also to the development of important soft skills, like empathy and compassion. We must expect that young children, on their path to self perfection, will often falter.
It can sometimes be disarming for parents and teachers to witness unfriendly or hurting behaviors between children. We may worry their behavior is an unwelcome reflection of our parenting or teaching. In order to create a safe space for mistakes and true opportunities for learning, it is important to release this judgment and in doing so we model the empathy and compassion we find valuable. When we are in relationship with others, it is a given that there will be missteps; we may hurt one another. In this mistake, there is an opportunity for learning and growth. When we shift our perspective, it may be easier to help a child correct their mistake and come to authentic compassion. Janet Lansbury has some suggestions that could be helpful.
May the spirit of love and friendship move you.
February 17: School in session - all students welcome. Four day/week students please attend.
February 20: No school: President's Day
Next Parent Resource Talk March 14 5:30 - 7:30
Topic to be discussed is 'What's Next? Life after Montessori preschool'. All parents welcome. Even if your child is a toddler, this is a great time to learn about all the choices and options. We will discuss the powerful Montessori kindergarten curriculum.
Mercedes will be out of the country March 17 - 24th
I have been invited to present a course in Observation and Classroom Management as part of an infant-toddler credential course for the Montessori Training Center of Vietnam in Hanoi. This is an honor and I am excited for this unique opportunity to travel and learn about Vietnamese culture. I will be working with about thirty adult learners who seek a Western style Montessori training and certification. Strong teacher formation is essential to delivering an authentic Montessori curriculum; this is a true opportunity to spread our mission of peace and the pdxMC method globally! In my absence, Ben and Amanda will be in charge and will handle any emergent administrative issues. Kathryn will handle any emergent classroom issues.
Interim Care available for Spring Break - March 27 - 31
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Outerwear May Need Update
Just a reminder that your children's cold weather gear might need an update.
- We layer: Please make sure your child's cold weather gear is large enough to fit a layer underneath. Inspect the zipper or fasteners and make sure that they are in good working order. Please make sure that your child's jacket/outerwear has easily accessible pockets - cold hands love pockets!
- Gear gets worn out: Examine rain pants for holes, weak seams, and rain boots for cracking (otherwise they step in a puddle and the water comes right through.) If your child's rain pants are getting tight and can’t fit over the top of their boots then every time they splash in a puddle it will fill their boots with water.
- Covered heads are warm heads: Please make sure they have a snug fitting warm hat that doesn't interfere with their vision and that they are comfortable wearing.
- Outerwear stays at school. We have a limited volume of extra rain pants, jackets and boots. Occasionally outerwear goes home on the weekend and your child may have to borrow clothes to go outside. This isn't ideal and should be avoided if possible.
- Ask your child: When it comes to cold weather gear and rain gear comfort is an issue. If they are uncomfortable in any of their gear they will struggle to remove it regardless of the cold or rain. Having comfortable functional gear is key to enjoying outside time. Ask your child about their outdoor gear, you might find out there is an easy solution to make sure they stay warm and comfortable.
- Thank you for helping us help your child experience the wonders of nature in all weather conditions.