Here's a look back at what various members of the Montessori Madmen failed to do last year:
- We thought a Montessori 5K run would be fun—the project ran aground.
- We had the bold idea to work with DOD to get Montessori schools on military bases—the idea got shot down.
- We launched a brilliant Fill the Chair campaign to encourage schools to bring in more folks from the community to observe a Montessori class—the chair was jerked out from under us.
- We worked hard to gather support for a Montessori flash mob in Grand Central Station—the train left the station.
- We put together a plan to get a Montessori TV movie produced—could not acquire satellite signal.
And here are some of our successful accomplishments:
- We connected with several authors and education thought leaders, introducing them for the first time to Montessori.
- We launched Montessori Blueprints.
- We published several Montessori children’s books: Letter Work, Number Work, N is for North Korea, That 17th Hat.
- We raised the funds for a full scholarship to Montessori teacher training for Stephen Round, the Rhode Island teacher whose resignation video in support of restoring sanity to our children’s classrooms went viral.
- We joined the Montessori Leaders Collaborative group, a small team of leaders of AMI, AMI/USA, AMS, NAMTA, IMC, and other training organizations, teachers, parents, and philanthropic funders working to figure out how to grow Montessori.
- We helped spread the idea about a Google Doodle highlighting Montessori and, well, Googled doodled on Maria M’s birthday.
- We launched a new website.
- We connected, collaborated, and coordinated with a wide range of sharp, passionate people who are trying to figure out how to bring Montessori education to more children.
- We helped launch the Jewish Montessori Society.
- We helped launch the initial stages of a Montessori farm school in St. Louis.
- We compiled a user-friendly list of Montessori resources for newcomers.
- We helped execute a number of Montessori billboards around the country.
Looking forward to 2013, here are some of the projects on the drawing board:
Project Zuckerberg: Get Mark Zuckerberg to observe a Montessori classroom and convince him to send some or all of the $500 million he plans to invest in education and health toward our cause.
Project Quiver Full of Arrows: We will put on the website several form letters that folks can use to respond to articles or to authors, introducing them to Montessori. We will regularly suggest articles to respond to in our newsletter.
Project Elevator Speech Contest: We will be publicizing and hosting this contest, to be held at the International Montessori Congress in Portland, Oregon this summer.
Attention Montessori supporters:
We want you. We want your ideas. We want you to find a project that interests you (or take someone else’s) and make it your baby. We are here to help and to cheer you on. When it crashes and burns, we’ll all have a good laugh. If it works, we’ll jump up and down with you and say, “Are you kidding me? There’s no way I thought that would work!”
Tell your school’s dads to come join the fun. Join the Montessori MadMen.