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Archive for March, 2013

Welcome Sheri!

Sheri Sesko

Sheri Sesko

Nothing is more important at Evergreen than the quality of our faculty.  Our teachers make Evergreen great.  It is their experience  expertise, wisdom, love, patience and passion for teaching that define the excellence of our school.

For this reason, I am pleased to introduce Mrs. Sheri Sesko. She will be joining our Elementary classroom next fall.  Sheri comes to us with 17 years of experience as a leader in Montessori education.  Sheri will join Mrs. Hatziyannis in our growing third floor program.

Sheri first experienced Montessori at the age of four. She attended a Montessori school throughout her elementary years. As a high school and college student, she worked with children in summer camp, childcare, and tutoring settings. Sheri has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Salisbury State University, and an Elementary I Credential from the Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies in Silver Spring.

Sheri She first started teaching in 1995 at Heritage Montessori School in Baltimore.  She also taught at Love of Learning Montessori in Columbia, Maryland.

In addition to her classroom experience, Sheri co-authored a book on Elementary classrooms.  She was a presenter at the 2009 Annual American Montessori Society Conference on Classroom Management.

Sheri lives in Olney with her husband and two daughters. Outside of her love of teaching, she enjoys reading, being outdoors, and being creative in any way she can.

Elementary parents will have the opportunity to meet Mrs. Sesko this spring.  Look for an announcement of a welcome coffee for her soon. She will be around Evergreen frequently over the next few months as well.

I am certain you will enjoy getting to know her, and make her feel welcome in our community.

Montessori Schools and Bullying

bullying and MontessoriOf all the toxins found in schools, bullying may be the most poisonous. Only recently have the consequences of bullying been researched and understood.  According to the DoSmething.org, approximately 160,000 teens skip school every day because of bullying, 1 out 10 students drop out of school because of repeated bullying and 9 out of 10 LGBT youth reported being verbally harassed at school in the past year because of their sexual orientation.

I recently watched a small part of the 2011 documentary Bully.  It’s a heartbreaking look at how the average American student cannot defend himself or herself against ridicule.
Can anything be done?  At Evergreen, we take the view that our first priority is establishing a class culture of collaboration, trust and respect.  By having multi-age classrooms, standards of behavior and school rules are reinforced by students as well as adults.  Bystanders are empowered to speak up. And because children work with materials at their own level, we minimize the competitive atmosphere present in other schools.

The foundation of confidence is laid in early childhood.  Your child’s Evergreen years are a critical part of his or her development.

We frequently hear that Evergreen is a kinder, more welcoming environment than many other schools.  My own experience bears this out; Evergreen is special place.  Yet, we are far from perfect.  Unkind words, exclusion, and even physical violence can happen.  Our children are still developing their social and emotional control mechanisms.  What is our anti-bullying strategy?  Monitor appropriately. Intervene immediately. Don’t ignore minor incidents. Clarify expectations (“We do not ever …”). And finally, provide a safe space for reflecting after an incident.  Most importantly, we check with a victim to make sure he or she feels secure.

By taking a proactive approach to bullying we can raise awareness and ensure that everyone can grow in an environment free of stress and harassment.

Regards, John

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