Submitted by John Horton, E1 Educator, J.J. Hill Montessori
Fall in Minnesota is full of beautiful weather as summer slips away and we see the leaves change color. It is a perfect time for reflection and preparation. As educators we welcome our new school year with energy and excitement in September, while In October we see how our routines and traditions have unfolded. This year, I found a way to continue my reflection and preparation with a new Fall tradition… the Mini Minnesota Montessori Conference.
Families and educators across Minnesota circle the third weekend in October for the “MEA break” (now called the Education Minnesota Conference.). For educators, two days of professional development. While the name has changed, the MEA still provides both an excellent opportunity to strengthen our craft and grow as professionals. Yet, like most professional development we may experience, often there is a lack of focus on Montessori education. Not anymore! Thanks to the collaborative efforts of St. Kates, UW River Falls, and the Minnesota Montessori Network, we have an excellent day of Montessori educator learning.
Attending the Mini Minnesota Montessori conference on October 17th provided an outstanding place to learn, grow, and connect. After a networking breakfast time, there were two morning keynote sessions – one specific to Early Childhood and one for Elementary and Adolescent educators. The keynote I attended was presented by Macarre Traynham, who asked us to look at ourselves and question “The systems around us, because these are policies that impact people. We choose to hold them up or bring them down.” The time flew by with enlightening content offered in a very engaging manner.
After a community lunch, I appreciated the choice of many compelling afternoon sessions offered by educators from throughout our region’s Montessori community. I selected one afternoon session in which I learned an expanded vision of “Adolescent Valorization”. We discussed how we can support true independence and guidance for a life of meaningful work. My second session offered us a personal story of Trauma where we learned how we can recognize these experiences and support families and children with greater sensitivity.
Closing the day with an onsite happy-hour with relevant and interesting door prizes, I was reminded of the feeling a child gets when they have been heard, seen, and validated. The excitement and passion one feels when they are well received. Yet, the biggest take away for me was the sense of community. Talking with fellow Montessori educators through collaborative work and learning. Carving out a little time during the Fall break provided me with an excellent opportunity to reflect and prepare as a Montessori educator. I suppose that is what Fall is all about, and now we have Montessorians have a place to support our unique experience as educators in Minnesota. I hope to see you there next year!
Share Your Feedback--Power to the Profession - DUE Wed. 9/25
The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is asking for feedback on their latest draft recommendations for the Power to the Profession initiative. Power to the Profession is a national collaboration to define the early childhood profession by establishing a unifying framework for career pathways, knowledge, and competencies, qualifications, standards, and compensation. If you are part of the early childhood education field, add your voice to this important conversation about the profession.
DERS 2.0 Has Arrived!
The DERS is a classroom observation tool that measures qualities proven to support executive functions, linguistic and cultural fluency, and social-emotional development.
Hundreds of trained users across the country are using the DERS to assess classrooms and improve practice towards the goal of supporting optimal human development and learning.
CLASP Survey--Input Needed
Do you work directly with immigrant children and families? Want to be entered to win a $50 gift card? Take a survey for the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) to share your expertise.
As part of CLASP’s ongoing efforts to document the impacts of immigration policy on young children, they are asking for feedback from early childhood professionals working with immigrant families. The survey is intended for direct service professionals providing child care and early education services, including but not limited to classroom teachers, special education teachers, family child care providers, home visitors, family engagement specialists, and program directors.
The survey will take approximately 25-45 minutes to complete. Question topics include children’s behavior and mental health; parental needs; program attendance and enrollment changes; and existing resources and needs for support. Participants will be entered to win a $50 gift card.
Take the survey.
Survey findings will be published in a research brief later this year. Responses will also inform the development of additional resources for early childhood stakeholders and immigrant families with young children. All responses are anonymous.
Questions? Contact Rebecca Ullrich (email@example.com). CLASP is a national, nonpartisan, anti-poverty nonprofit organization.
Apply for Advisory Council
Governor Walz recently relaunched the Children’s Cabinet, an interagency partnership that works to improve how the state serves children and families. Now, there’s an opportunity for you to get involved.
The cabinet will engage stakeholders through external advisory bodies, including a Children’s Cabinet Advisory Council and the State Advisory for Early Education and Care. These groups, made up of individuals with the perspective of youth and families, diverse and underrepresented communities, and tribal and county leadership, will provide recommendations and guidance to the Children’s Cabinet.
Learn more about the councils and apply today by clicking the links above.
Free Advocacy Training
Would you like to learn more about advocacy? Attend a FREE Advocating for Young Children Training. We are offering two upcoming opportunities in Greater Minnesota:
Thursday, October 10 in Duluth
The two hour session will help you build your skills and earn in-service training hours.
Small Talks: Implicit Bias in Early Childhood
Join us on October 15 to learn about implicit bias, what it is, how it shows up in early childhood and the implications for children’s trajectory. Our Small Talks panelists will discuss individual and collective implicit bias, its effects on Minnesota’s achievement gap, and what we can do as a community to address it.
Small Talks features leaders who share key insights on early childhood education and discuss innovative solutions to early learning issues in Minnesota.
Ann Kaner-Roth Policy Hour Update
Minnesota’s Future is excited for the upcoming season of Policy Hour, and we appreciate everyone’s participation in person and on our Facebook page. This year we’re changing things up a bit and instead of starting in October, the first one will be on Tuesday, December 3. The sessions will run like usual, the first Tuesday of the month, 12-1 p.m. at Think Small, Minneapolis and on our Facebook page through June 2020. Mark your calendars and more information about the December session is coming soon!
Prenatal to Three Policy Forum
Upcoming Event Open to Public In Person or Webcast
Monday, Oct 21, 2019, 9:00am-Noon Registration & Networking at 8:30am
University of St. Thomas
Anderson Student Center, North Woulfe Hall
2115 Summit Ave., St. Paul, MN 55105
Click here to register for this event online
Click here to view/download a PDF flyer for this event
For five wonderful years, over one hundred volunteers have annually brought Montessori (and the only interactive classroom) into the Education Building creating what has now become "The Great Montessori Get Together".
What happens to the Montessori State Fair Booth next?
“How did it go this year?”
This year was an exciting celebration of Montessori’s 5th year at the Fair! Here are some highlights:
Severe weather prompted fair evacuation during the booth take-down after the closing shift on Labor day. This was particularly shocking given the weather was the most comfortable in recent history! We learned what it was like to move out the following day with all the midway ride-carrying semi trucks on the grounds!
After nearly 50 years in operation Montessori Day school closed its doors this year. Montessori Day "passes the torch" through its Materials to
Greenbrier Montessori School, a new non-profit micro-preschool
in the Wildflower network opening in January in Powderhorn Park.
The Cottage Grove area lost a Montessori option for its young children this summer, after it was maintained for nearly 50 years with great effort and perseverance. Montessori Day was started in September 1976 by two sisters, Sally and Susan. They leased one room in a public elementary school in Cottage Grove, MN. The school District allowed them to lease unused space which changed from year-to-year, so sometimes they didn't know where or how much would be available until the summer. In 1985 the district was not sure they would have space available, so space was rented at the Armory/Washington County Courts building and they added their own food service. In 1989 they moved into Newport United Methodist Church.
In August 1997 the "Montessori Day" school was sold to Cindy and Esther Lenartz. Within four years they had settled the school into its final configuration and locations. They offered preschool at All Saints Lutheran Church for 13 years until the school district added free pre-K programs. Simultaneously, they offered toddler and preschool with extended day care via a Family Child Care license from of cozy home converted to a school in Cottage Grove. Now, after nearly 20 years, that program has also closed with Esther’s well-earned retirement.
Moving the school often was challenging, but maintaining the only Montessori offering in the Cottage Grove area was paramount to the owners and community. Montessori Day was a small school and kept prices down so families could afford to attend. They were appreciated very much by their community, who feel the loss. You can observe on MNMN.org’s interactive school map, that there is now a distinct void in the Cottage Grove area.
Esther shares: “The Montessori philosophy of Respect yourself, Respect others and Respect the world around you were such beautiful fundamentals. Our wish is that all people could live by that philosophy. Maria Montessori did such a beautiful job figuring how this should work. I was delighted to find someone starting a new school in Minneapolis to utilize our materials, but sad I could not find anyone to continue "Montessori Day" in Cottage Grove, MN.” If anyone is interested in the URL www.mnmontessori_day.com, you can contact Esther at firstname.lastname@example.org. The domain is paid through October 2020.
Greenbrier is a Non Profit micro-preschool that will be opening in January in Powderhorn Park, in south Minneapolis
Nestled in the heart of our Minneapolis community, Greenbrier is an authentic Montessori preschool offering a nurturing learning environment for children ages 3 to 6. In addition to partnering with families, Greenbrier leans on it's cornerstone values of community, philanthropy, and the arts to create a unique and diverse learning environment.
Molly shares that they are very busy with the upstart of this new beautiful learning environment and “owe Esther so much!! She was such a joy to work with and we are so grateful!”. Congratulations Molly and Beckett!