Montessori Sun Times Summer 2014 : Page 1

A newsletter for The Children’s House community in Traverse City · Summer 2014 www.traversechildrenshouse.org A Moment To Be Mindful By Michele Shane, Head of School In late July, 60 Montessori administrators from as far away as Perth, Australia, gathered in Traverse City for the 2014 Montessori Administrators Asso-ciation (MAA) Retreat. It was an absolute privilege to have hosted this esteemed group of Montes-sori professionals and focus on our leadership by looking inward — something that, sadly, seems atypical for the majority of school administrators. Dr. Metta McGarvey, a Fellow in Education at Harvard Graduate School of Education and chair of the Inner Strengths of Suc-cessful Leaders Programs, spent a day discussing the science behind mindfulness practice and explaining the great value and benefit that comes from afford-ing ourselves a few “moments” throughout the day. Immediately, subtle doubt on the faces of the participants became apparent. The skepticism wasn’t related to believing that this practice could be beneficial to us all but rather that we could find the time to make this a regular, daily habit. By the end of the afternoon, after conversation and opportunities to give it a try, the group settled into a state of optimism for what mindfulness could mean, not only for them, but also within their school communities. ness practices, particularly for children: Just A Few Minutes A Day Whether we are a school admin-istrator or a stay at home parent, a lawyer or an electrician, we all lead busy lives. As a result of wanting to provide our children plenty of opportunities to have fun and discover their hidden talents, they live these busy lives right along with us. At times in our fast-paced culture, it can feel a lot like swimming up stream. The good news is that, by following Dr. McGarvey’s advice, maintaining a calm and present outlook on our lives can be as simple as a few minutes a day of mindfulness practice. What’s more, we have the opportunity as parents to facilitate this for our children too. Recently, in the journal Child Development Perspectives, authors P.D. Zelazo and K.E. Lyons echoed Dr. McGarvey’s thoughts about the benefits of mindful-Mindfulness training — using age-appropriate activities to exercise children’s reflection on their moment-to-moment experiences — may support the develop-ment of self-regulation by targeting top-down processes while lessening bottom-up influences (such as anxiety, stress, curios-ity) to create conditions conducive to reflection, both during problem solv-ing and in more playful, exploratory ways. As we know, creating healthy habits of exercise and healthy eating are critical during this for-mative time of a child’s life. Now, science is helping us discover that mindfulness practice belongs on this list too. Interested in learning more about simple tools for children’s “mindfulness practice,” go to www.sarahwood.com Serenity Now Significant research has shown that it doesn’t require a person to undergo intense sessions of meditation to reap the benefits of regular practice. It can take as little as 5 minutes to achieve external and internal clarity, according to Dr. McGarvey. “Set your alarm, find a place where you can relax, close your eyes and breathe,” she says, adding that clarity and presence of mind is possible for a short timeframe if one focuses on the simple acronym, CVS: Count your blessings; savor your Victories; and Show up as your authentic self. Upcoming School Dates: Fall-Winter Calendar August 21 Last day of summer classes September 2 Student orientation day, classes begin September 2 & 3 Tears and Cheers 8:30-11:00am September 3 Early care, after care and lunch program begins September 4 Back to school parent meeting, 6:00pm October 12 Fall Harvest Festival, 11:00-2:00 at TCH October 16 School picture day October 17 Staff professional day, campus closed November 6 & 7 Parent teacher con-ferences -childcare available

A Moment To Be Mindful

Michele Shane

In late July, 60 Montessori administrators from as far away as Perth, Australia, gathered in Traverse City for the 2014 Montessori Administrators Association (MAA) Retreat. It was an absolute privilege to have hosted this esteemed group of Montessori professionals and focus on our leadership by looking inward — something that, sadly, seems atypical for the majority of school administrators.<br /> <br /> Dr. Metta McGarvey, a Fellow in Education at Harvard Graduate School of Education and chair of the Inner Strengths of Successful Leaders Programs, spent a day discussing the science behind mindfulness practice and explaining the great value and benefit that comes from affording ourselves a few “moments” throughout the day. Immediately, subtle doubt on the faces of the participants became apparent. The skepticism wasn’t related to believing that this practice could be beneficial to us all but rather that we could find the time to make this a regular, daily habit.<br /> <br /> Serenity Now <br /> <br /> Significant research has shown that it doesn’t require a person to undergo intense sessions of meditation to reap the benefits of regular practice. It can take as little as 5 minutes to achieve external and internal clarity, according to Dr. McGarvey.<br /> <br /> “Set your alarm, find a place where you can relax, close your eyes and breathe,” she says, adding that clarity and presence of mind is possible for a short timeframe if one focuses on the simple acronym, CVS: Count your blessings; savor your Victories; and Show up as your authentic self.<br /> <br /> By the end of the afternoon, after conversation and opportunities to give it a try, the group settled into a state of optimism for what mindfulness could mean, not only for them, but also within their school communities.<br /> <br /> Just A Few Minutes A Day <br /> <br /> Whether we are a school administrator or a stay at home parent, a lawyer or an electrician, we all lead busy lives. As a result of wanting to provide our children plenty of opportunities to have fun and discover their hidden talents, they live these busy lives right along with us. At times in our fast-paced culture, it can feel a lot like swimming up stream.<br /> <br /> The good news is that, by following Dr. McGarvey’s advice, maintaining a calm and present outlook on our lives can be as simple as a few minutes a day of mindfulness practice. What’s more, we have the opportunity as parents to facilitate this for our children too.<br /> <br /> Recently, in the journal Child Development Perspectives, authors P.D. Zelazo and K.E. Lyons echoed Dr. McGarvey’s thoughts about the benefits of mindfulness practices, particularly for children: As we know, creating healthy habits of exercise and healthy eating are critical during this formative time of a child’s life. Now, science is helping us discover that mindfulness practice belongs on this list too.<br /> <br /> Interested in learning more about simple tools for children’s “mindfulness practice,” go to www.sarahwood.com<br /> <br /> Mindfulness training — using age-appropriate activities to exercise children’s reflection on their moment-to-moment experiences — may support the development of self-regulation by targeting top-down processes while lessening bottom-up influences (such as anxiety, stress, curiosity) to create conditions conducive to reflection, both during problem solving and in more playful, exploratory ways.

Upcoming School Dates

August 21 <br /> <br /> Last day of summer classes <br /> <br /> September 2 <br /> <br /> Student orientation day, classes begin <br /> <br /> September 2 & 3 <br /> <br /> Tears and Cheers 8:30-11:00am<br /> <br /> September 3 <br /> <br /> Early care, after care and lunch program begins <br /> <br /> September 4 <br /> <br /> Back to school parent meeting, 6:00pm <br /> <br /> October 12 <br /> <br /> Fall Harvest Festival, 11:00-2:00 at TCH<br /> <br /> October 16 <br /> <br /> School picture day <br /> <br /> October 17 <br /> <br /> Staff professional day, campus closed <br /> <br /> November 6 & 7 <br /> <br /> Parent teacher conferences - childcare available

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