Recently I passed a group of Primary students so fully rapt in their work outdoors, they seemed completely unaware of anything else. Passersby stopped to watch as they dug holes into the rich, mulchy earth, and no one looked up. So captured were the children by their task of “creating a surprise for spring”, that nothing else seemed to matter. Small hands held small shovels and bulbs were gently placed into the mighty earth. It was nothing short of sacrament to witness those children at work.
Dr. Montessori’s vision for schools includes a vision for classrooms both indoors and outdoors. It was her desire to offer children a sense of the interconnectedness of all things: math and language, science and nature. Through her reverence for the natural world, Dr. Montessori created a cosmic education curriculum, which helps ground children in an understanding of themselves as part of the greater universe.
As leaders, we are called to do the same. Last week, members of our Board and Administration attended a meeting sponsored by the Association of Colorado Independent Schools. Among a collection of top notch speakers, we heard Rob Evans (author of The Human Side of School Change). He spoke of management strategies for building collaboration in school leadership and how clarity of mission is one of the key components in successful schools. “Across the board, mission statements for Independent Schools are nearly identical in content,” he said, “but it’s Montessori I applaud for offering a philosophical approach to its mission of daily practices. You talk about how you’re going to achieve your goals.”
When you attend Parent-Teacher Conferences this week, and as your partnership with Jarrow deepens through the year, we invite you to listen for the story beneath the story. Not only do our goals include the obvious successes of academic achievement, they are rooted in the evolution of character and respect. Dr. Montessori’s cosmic education curriculum is grounded in her vision of Education for Peace, and upon this vision, we place our hearts and commitment each and every day. As our children grow in self-awareness and confidence to achieve their goals, they also gain tools for navigating our world with intention and authentic regard for one another. Our approach is holistic and urgent, joyful and ever deepening with reward.
With gratitude for your partnership,
Mary Zeman, Interim Head of School
Mercedes Dugan, Assistant Interim Head of School
on behalf of our Administration and Staff