Our school year may be winding down, but learning and growing don’t stop for summer. Our new camp staff is ready to go. On Saturday, they participated in an orientation on the principles of Montessori led by Rebecca Tobin. We are so thrilled to be working with such a creative and energetic group for the next two and a half months.
Not only will our campers continue to learn this summer, so will I. Tonight begins the first of two summer courses I’ll be taking at Montgomery College. Remember your first day of school jitters? Then you know how I feel. I worry: will the professor be friendly? Can I survive three-hour lectures on four nights per week? Is my attention span up for this?
My workload: I will be in class for four hours a night, four nights per week throughout the month of June– yes, its one way to gain some professional development. I am sad to be giving up so many summer nights, but I have high hopes that these classes will be worthwhile. I am sure I’ll be blogging about my experience as the month progresses. Even though I have a Masters in Education, I am taking Early Childhood Curriculum Planning with Professor Sonia Hernandez and Child Growth and Development with Professor Barbara Marshall for credit hours.
If meeting challenges, learning new things, and growing intellectually are keys to a long and happy life, then these courses will be great ways to spend my nights in June.
It is nice to know that other people see the same things you are seeing. It helps you feel grounded. And it confirms that you aren’t living a fantasy, in denial or wearing blinders.
Last week, an Evergreen father stopped to tell me what he observed during an after school piñata party. Children showed an extraordinary amount of kindness, respect and thoughtfulness between vicious whacks on the cardboard candy bag, he said. The children’s ability to look out for one another, take turns, negotiate and compromise far exceeded the father’s expectations. And when at last, the candy dropped from the battered piñata, children actually organized the collecting of loot. There was no mosh pit. No flying elbows. No fight to the death over handfuls of dried out Tootsie Rolls and Dum Dums.
It is typical at Evergreen School for children to look out for one another. I believe it is the dynamics of our multi-age Montessori classrooms that teaches children to insist that everyone is treated kindly and fairly. Older children easily assume the role of teacher and protector of those younger and more vulnerable.
When you consider how well multi-age classrooms work—not only in promoting academic achievement—but in inculcating important social values, it is surprising that there aren’t more multi-age classrooms. Why don’t more educators see the same thing that that father and I do?
Everything Grows! was the theme of our 2013 Spring Festival. Just as one event can’t fully capture the spirit of the school year, one picture can’t capture the spirit of the event. But here is my best try:
At a school like ours, we rely on the parent involvement and volunteerism to make us great. Study after study demonstrates that active, involved and engaged parents make the greatest difference for children.
The Evergreen School Parents Association (ESPA) held its final school-wide meeting of the year. Reflecting on ESPA’s accomplishments, it is clear that Evergreen would not be the place it is without ESPA’s leadership and all the significant volunteers efforts of our parents. We all owe significant thanks to the ESPA Executive Committee for a wonderful year.
Just as significant, we give great thanks to all our volunteers. below is a list of ESPA and volunteer accomplishments this year:
- Coffee on the Green coordinators
- Buddy family volunteers
- Room Parent volunteers
- Field Trip Coordinators
- Pizza Lunch helpers
- Picture Day helpers
- International Day presenters
- Classroom craft and auction project coordinators
- Winter Festival Committee
- Open House tour guides and refreshment providers
- Esteemed Elders’ Day Chair and volunteers
- Breach Movie Night Speaker and helpers
- MixedBag Sale Coordinator
- Auction Committee
- Teacher Appreication Week helpers
- Annual Fund Chair
- …and ESPA Executive Committee
…as we say at Evergreen, “You make the world a beautiful place!”
The Evergreen community spent an enchanted evening “down the rabbit hole” at the Wonderland Auction on April 27. Thanks to the creative energy of our wonderful auction committee, guests were treated to phantasmagorical night like no other.
Cheers to all the volunteers and supporters who made the event possible.
Special thanks to Kim Cantor, Donna Kerr, Anke Mann, Jen Rusiecki, Joy McCarty, Cori Lathan, and Christopher Mattox for their organizational skills and pure energy.
Over $10,000 was raised to support the children and programs of Evergreen School, including $3,500 direct support for our playground and garden.
See the gallery below and more event pictures here.