Last day at the Montessori School


The parents and children are kind and generous.

Today was the last day of school for the children at my Montessori School. It was a day of cleaning up and graduation ceremonies, culminating with a family picnic in the classroom because of the stormy weather outside.

Although I am leaving on my own accord, a choice in which I am confident about, it was still a sad day of goodbyes and farewells. I will miss the families and children at the Montessori School. One thing I really like about working with younger kids is the involvement of the families. In the older grades children take the bus and from school and you can go all year only meeting the parents once or twice. With young kids you see parents (or caregivers) daily. In the Montessori program children stay in the same classroom for three years so you truly form deep bonds with them. Families are also very committed to the program and generally send all of their kids through. As I leave this year I said goodbye to the children in my classroom, the parents, and also the younger siblings that I see each day and who will be attending the school next year. One graduating boy was very sad that I was leaving because he had told his incoming sister all about me and she was excited to have me as her teacher.

I know I will find something even better for next year, but I will miss the connections I have made. I promised everyone that I would be “out and about” this summer, hitting up all the playgrounds with my kids, so maybe we’ll see each other again. It is a small community we all live in.

(I still have a few in-service days of cleaning and preparing for next year, so I’m not entirely done, but it was the final day for the children.)

Montessori Day 2

Happy sunny Thursday afternoon. I have a few minutes and thought I’d check in. There is no “Montessori Day 1” post, so don’t worry, you didn’t miss anything. Now that the kids are in school and Montessori has started, I find myself with a little over an hour at home, no kids, each afternoon. So far (day two) I have been revelling in it! I have grand ambitions of getting projects done, or cleaning, or something… but so far it has been tea and my laptop and a gentle breeze through the window.

Montessori school is fun and interesting. After two weeks of prep, in-service days, and home visits, I was eager to just get the school year started. Yesterday we had 22 little ones in this lovely classroom and guess what — they are just kids! Nothing magical about Montessori. They still roll around on the floor, pick their noses, run in the classroom (and get told not to), poke their friends, talk too loud, fall off chairs, and trip over their own feet. At each school visit when we had a new student come in to see the classroom, the teacher would give that student a lesson and the student would be still and quiet and focused and do very well on the work she offered. I was dying to see how that held up with there was a ton of them all together. Yep, just kids! :) Of course this is just day two, so perhaps after a few weeks when everyone has settled into the routine, then I’ll see the Montessori magic. Parents swear by it.

Everyone is super friendly and I’m enjoying getting to know people. Some are names I’ve known from around, or friends of friends, and now I’m putting faces to them. Others are completely new to the area and I’ve been happy to be able to recommend playgrounds and other kid-friendly places in the area.

Overall it has been a very nice week, and you can’t beat the hours! :) My own kids are happy that they get to be home each afternoon. Well, at least they come home each afternoon, sometimes I drag them right back out again to karate or something else. Tomorrow we are going apple picking! I hope it’s not 85° and humid like it is today!

I watched a neat video on the importance of connections and relationships in the classroom this afternoon. TED talks are just amazing! Check it out if you have eight minutes. She is a passionate and humorous speaker, like most TED presenters.

It’s the first day of school today!

The kiddos went back to school today! I had to wake their sleepy heads up, of course, and rally them for the day. They have actually been sleeping late (sometimes all the way to 7am!) the past few weeks. Eventually they came down and the morning went well. Although Alan will be dropping them off in the mornings, I wanted to drop them off this first day so I could see the classrooms, meet the teachers, say hi to all my friends, etc.

Eve decided to do her hair this morning, which involved spraying the top with water and slicking it back. I tried to get her to spray all of it so we could make nice curls, but she insisted just the top to slick it back. I hoped it would dry before picture time, but of course she re-applied at the last minute, in her opinion making it look perfect for the pictures. Of course. Also, she had Nutella for breakfast and managed to get it all over her shoulders and dress. So her 1st day of school pictures have slicked hair and dirty clothes. When we got to school I noticed she had dried milk on her face too! Sigh.




The real excitement came as we were outside taking pictures, already running a bit late. Alan came out to help move everything along, Eve was feeling hurried and therefore put on the brakes, and Lex suddenly yells, “Daisy is in the garage!” Oh no!! Daisy came darting out of the garage and down the drive way. Alan moved to get her but she wanted no part of that. I was trying to take Eve’s picture and then had to find somewhere safe to put down my camera and the big picture frame. Eve and Lex were near tears. Chaos ensued. We chased her around the house for a bit, alternating between trying to dart and grab her, and just calmly call her name. I kept looking at my watch and thinking “we’re late, we’re really late,” and Daisy zoomed on! I ran in to get her some food (tempt her, maybe?) and somehow she made her way back into the garage and Eve shut it. The mudroom door was open and as I came into the mudroom from the kitchen, Daisy darted in from the garage. We met in the middle. I tried to comfort her, but she was cold and wet and shaking, and she made a bee-line for the kitchen door, patting it with her paw until I opened it and let her in. Whew!

Once we knew she was safe inside we left for school. The whole thing only took about five minutes, but it felt like much longer! We were a bit late for school, but seeing as it was the first day no one was too concerned. The kids were both the last ones in their rooms, but they had a fun story to tell. We were actually a bit later because Eve wanted to stop and tell the story to everyone we met along the way.

I dropped them at school and went to the Montessori school for my first official in-service day. All went well. We had a staff meeting, classroom set up, met a new student, etc. Then I came home, tried to finish my CPR/First-Aid online training as fast as I could while also multi-tasking on snack and bread making.

As the time drew near I started looking out the window for the bus. It was late, and then later. About 15 minutes after it’s expected arrival time I saw it come from the wrong direction, pull into our street, and the kids got off. Hmm…. that was unexpected! Turns out it was just running late (not unusual for the first day of school) and the driver missed their stop! Fortunately they were paying attention and spoke up! He turned around at the next road and brought them back. Whew!

They LOVED school! Both were bursting with stories and excitement and super happy to tell me that I had to do homework tonight! Paper work in duplicate. Good times. We had a nice snack then I ignored them for the rest of the afternoon as I finished up my CPR course. Alan came home at dinner time and I headed out for the in-person practice part of the training. Now that is done, I’ve successfully passed, the kids are happy and in bed, and it’s time for a glass of wine and laundry! Good times. :)

School starts tomorrow

Tomorrow is the first day of school. Second grade, fourth grade, and Montessori for the momma. The funny thing is, we all feel pretty “meh” about the whole thing. In the past we’ve had countdowns and excitement (sort of), but this year it is creeping up quietly. I was telling Rosy this morning that we could almost miss the first day. We’d probably be well into the day before the kids even think about it. Fortunately for all of us I’m on top of things and we won’t miss it! I was talking to them in bed tonight and Lex mustered some excitement, but Eve was pretty indifferent. :) Luckily I’m confident the day will go well from start to finish and everyone will have fun. That’s more than I could say in past years. We went to the playground yesterday with Rose and Lex wanted us to play four square with him the whole time. When we’d had enough he asked if we would play kick ball or tag. Eve suggested playing “baby mountain lions,” an imaginary games she plays with her friends. Lex was not interested. I think he’s ready to be with his boy friends again, running and playing.

I have a busy day myself tomorrow. I’m dropping the kids off (because I can’t stand not seeing them off on the first day, seeing their classrooms, and saying hi to their teachers), then I’m off to the Montessori school for my first official “in-service” day. We have a staff meeting, a home visit, and a student coming for a school visit. Plus classroom setup, of course. Then home to meet the kids off the bus. In the evening I have to go to the hospital for a CPR/First Aid certification class. Because Montessori students are as young as 3yrs old the school is technically classified as a childcare (not educational) facility and therefore has to abide by childcare licensing laws. CPR/First Aid certification being one of them. I’ll also have to take a number of hours of child development classes, which are the same things I was doing when I ran my daycare. Like old times. :)

I’ll try to post again tomorrow with first day of school photos and updates.


We are home now, back from two trips in a row.  I have a list of blog posts I want to write, and the kids are at camp next week so hopefully I’ll get them written. :)  I have a few minutes right now though, so I thought I’d start off with a quick one.

I got a job!  Yay!  I interviewed at a local Montessori school last Friday, then got an offer on the phone, while standing in the grocery store parking lot in Oneonta, and accepted.  I signed the papers when we got back in town.  I am super excited to be employed and no longer worrying about what my fall will bring.  However, I’ve had mixed emotions about the whole thing as well.  (Because that seems to be how I live my life, debating, second-guessing, and wondering.)

The position is an assistant teacher job, not a full teacher.  This is awesome because it means next year will be so much easier than this year was.  I’ll be home when the kids get home from school each day, no more daycare and long bus rides for them, and I won’t have any extra work to do in the evenings and weekends.  Teachers do a lot after school hours!  However, I’m also a little sad that so much of what I learned and prepared for this year will be irrelevant next year.  All the lesson planning, differentiation, classroom management, etc… maybe.  I don’t know a ton about the Montessori methodology so there may be more of that than I realize.  I will also be in someone else’s classroom, so again I’ll be following someone else’s expectations.  That was fine last year for my internships, but I was definitely having a lot of “in my classroom…” thoughts by the end of the year.  I guess I’ll have to put them on hold for awhile.  The pay is paltry and if I max out my retirement account (of which I have none at the moment) I will pretty much be bringing home nothing.  Sigh.  Good thing Alan is solidly employed!

I had this vision in my head of what it would feel like when I got a job.  I would start planning my classroom, going through the kids’ things here to see what I can bring in, studying up on the CCSS for that grade, learning the curriculum, etc.  Basically work, work, work – but everything I’ve been preparing for this past year.  Instead it will be none of that, but I’ll have a quiet summer and I’ll be home with the kids after school in the fall, which will be great based on the year we just had, and I’ll be in a beautiful classroom with super friendly colleagues.  And working with kids, which is why I started this whole thing!  When I focus on the positive I am super excited about this job!  They are sending me to a Montessori conference so I can learn the Montessori curriculum and methodology, and they lent me a few Montessori books, so I have some reading to do… just as soon as I finish the Divergent series, probably totally anti-Montessori!  :)

So that’s that. New job.  Known future.  Beautiful school.  Friendly people.  Awesome hours.  Happy family.  Life is good.