December 16,   2016

Help us reach our goal of 100% participa tion! 
Eric's Earful: 
 Musings from the Head of School

The real preparation for education is a study of one's self.  The training of the teacher who is to help life is something far more than the learning of ideas.  It includes the training of character, it is a preparation of the spirit. -Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind

This quote is something that I go back to over and over again as we continue considering what makes a Montessori teacher.  I read nothing in this quote about special training at an advanced university to learn education techniques.  I read nothing in her writing that says we must spend years learning how to manage classrooms full of children.  I see nothing in her writing that says we must have a teaching certificate before we can lead a group of children in this way.  The government mandates that we, as a public school, have someone in the class who has passed the required classes and gained the credentialing necessary according to the law.  Leelanau Montessori requires that our classroom leaders and other adults are sent somewhere to gain the credentials necessary to teach a classroom like we have here.  I am not disagreeing with the expectation that teachers have some basic knowledge and our teachers here have that basic knowledge plus the extra training.  However, I am not sure what Maria Montessori would say to this demand for credentialing to teach according to her principles.  

I believe that Montessori teachers are born and find their way to our thinking because they already consider some of Montessori's philosophy necessary to learn.  They will then gain the training needed to begin down this path of teaching/learning.  Montessori made sense to me when I first found it because traditional education did not always mesh with how I learned.  I am not saying Montessori would have made it easier for me, however it would have given my family another choice in the education of their children.  The real difference for me is that we are a PUBLIC Montessori.  We have made the choice to open this type of learning to everyone, regardless of social circumstances.  We have made the commitment to be a true difference in learning for children in this area.  This is what is special and needs these types of special adults.

Michigan State gave me the learning necessary to pass the state tests to become a teacher, however it did not give me the learning needed to prepare an environment for a diverse group of children who vary in abilities within the different developmental domains.  Montessori gave me to tools to prepare this environment, however it asked me to take a good look at myself prior to working with kids (and continue to look at myself as I teach).  What were some areas I was weak in?  What did I need to learn more about?  What are are some behaviors that really bother me?  What types of behaviors are typical for children at certain ages?  What is really important for me to know about this particular kid?  How do I deal with conflict?  I have to be able to identify the areas in me that need refinement.  This is the self-study that I think Maria is talking about from the quote above.

Canned Soup Drive
There is nothing better than a bowl of hot soup on these cold days.  Let's fill some cupboards by sending in a can or two of soup to donate to the Leelanau Food Pantry.  Have your kids pick out some of their favorite soups to donate and bring it to school Monday through Thursday. Please send the cans with your child and we will make sure they get to the food pantry.  

Ad Hoc Committee- The Future of Our School

The Ad Hoc Committee- The Future of Our School had a successful third gathering. The next scheduled meeting is Tuesday, December 20th from 6-7 p.m.  There will be a Leelanau Montessori Board meeting on Monday, December 19th at 7:00 p.m. in the SB Media Center where the Ad Hoc Committee will be presenting an update.  All are welcome and encouraged to attend.  
Elementary Snack
Growing children need lots of nourishment- brain food.  Children are encouraged to bring a healthy snack each day. We have a small stash of items in the office for those who forget but the supply of granola bars and apples is dwindling.  Get your child involved in picking out the juiciest apple, crackers and cheese, carrots and hummus, hard boiled egg, granola bar........ Thank you!
Young Entrepreneurs Marketplace & Community Sing Scheduled for December 22nd - 11:15 a.m. Dismissal Day
On Thursday, December 22nd at 8:30 a.m. all of the class rooms will gather for Community Sing followed by Young Entrepreneurs Marketplace.  All families are welcome to attend these two events.  We are excited to announce that Leelanau Montessori alumni Lenora Paige will be our guest musician.  A few of the songs we will sing are Frosty the Snowman, Feliz Navidad, My Favorite Things from The Sound of Music, O Hanukkah, Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, and Jingle Bells.  We hope everyone can join us for this fun festive event.  

Don't forget to bring some cash to purchase some of the great items the young entrepreneurs will be selling.  Everyone will gather in the music room at 8:30 a.m.  
The kindergarten through 3rd year children will be participating in Brain Compatible creative movement for 6 weeks with Hughthir White, a professional dance instructor,  as part of our health and wellness experience. The Friends of Fine Arts, a Suttons Bay School group, is funding this opportunity.  This is paid for by FOFA however, if you would like to donate, sponsor or help establish a fund making this an ongoing opportunity, the cost is $35 per child and monies can be sent to our office. Your child will enjoy this class during their school day. Brain compatible creative dance is an interactive, sensory, simple but strong approach to dance education and exploring the elements of dance and kinesthetic learning.  Hughthir will introduce ways of moving that reflect space, time, rhythm, locomotion and energy.  He will integrate curricular ideas such as math, poetry, visual arts and utilize percussion instruments as a tool. We will be enjoying this in the old Cedar room and need the following props on loan:
  • A CD player in working order
  • Shekere or egg shakers

Community Updates

-This week's 25 cent State Theater kids movie is Disney's a Christmas Carole

Dance Leelanau with Hillary Voight is regrouping after a wonderful Holiday performance* for The first class sessions
of 2017.  Starting January 21 and for 4 Saturdays, Dance Leelanau will hold their classes at the Old Art Building for Pre-Ballet (3-5 yrs) and Beginning Ballet (6-8 yrs).
*To see some of the Holiday performance Click Here or the "video" tab above.
Pre-Ballet (3-5 yrs) 10:20-10:50
Beginning Ballet (6-8 yrs) 11:00 - 11:30

Our wonderful Taylor Fielding is available over winter break for childcare.  Please contact her at (231) 649-0596 or  
Private Tutoring Offered:  Click here to find out about this service to our community.
  The Practice of Gratitude

~Thank you to everyone who donated to the FarmRaiser Fundraiser
~Thank you to the families who donated to purchasing boots for children
~Thank you to the Geraci family for supplying snacks for children
~Thank you to the Wilson family for donating wooden blocks to the toddler class

***If you have time in your day and would like to volunteer to read with children. please give the office a call and we will hook you up!  It's great fun!!!
Elementary Hot Lunch

 December Lunch Menu
Dates to Remember

This Week
December 19:  LMPSA Board Meeting 7:00 p.m.
December 20:  Farmraiser orders delivered 
December 20:  Ad Hoc Committee Mtg. 6-8 p.m. 
December 22:  11:15 a.m. Dismissal
Community Sing, Young Entrepreneurs, Outside Activities  

Coming Up
December 23-January 2nd
Return from winter break begins Tuesday, January 3rd  

In Search of:
-Reams of Copy Paper
-Gloves of all sizes for children 
-Office Snack{ granola Bars and apples to keep in the office for kids with no snack
~Dry Erase Markers
~Wooden Kitchen Matches

Quick Links


Photos of the Week

Toddler Love
Window Washing

Welcome to our new office assistant
Era Mae!

Upper El Play