From the Montessori Mad Men
By Aidan McAuley
The May Newsletter serves to announce the Montessori Mad Men’s alignment with the “Opt-Out” movement. The “Opt-Out” movement has become a chorus of voices over the last 12 months of those concerned about the reasons for and effects of standardized testing. We believe that these tests don’t measure how much one knows as much as they determine what one knows. We feel that what one knows should be determined by his or her deepest interests and unique talents and abilities. We will always support the idea that education should be based on discovery, relationships and personal interest and should never be about logistics and efficiencies (as seen in classrooms where students are segregated by age). Our public education system has become an institutionalized quagmire, designed for the benefit of adults (in the form of pensions for teachers and administrators, sources of revenue for standarized testing companies like Pearson, and are environments where our children are being shaped and molded into effective tools of the state as future “workers” instead of as future innovators and competitors to the established interests). It is time to make education about the child, once again. To become familiar with this dialogue, we encourage you to like two facebook pages, one began by our good friend Lisa Michelle Nielsen and the other by a group of students in Chicago who are bravely taking their education back from the adults. Those links are below:
So, that’s a heavy way to start off the May Newsletter, isn’t it? Well, we’re not done yet! The Montessori Mad Men will be your biggest fans as you pursue the creation of new Montessori schools with trained Montessori teachers. However, if you ask for our support and in our research we uncover that you are yet another “childcare” facility that uses the name “Montessori” and does not have trained Montessori Directors/ Directresses, we will become your worst nightmare (that is until you’ve seen the light). We will not stand idly by while your “childcare” facility gives authentic Montessori schools a bad reputation by association. Beware! There are many great Montessori Training Centers and since I live in St. Louis, I would encourage you or someone you know who is interested to look into the Montessori Training Center of St. Louis, led by the internationally renowned Dr. Annette Haines. If you are interested and coming in from out of town, contact the Montessori Mad Men and we’ll help you find an affordable apartment during your training in a safe, fun part of town!
Does your school have chickens? If not, you should consider it and here is a simple reason why:
In talking with another Dad at Villa di Maria Montessori, who happens to be 50 years old (I’m 37) we didn’t realize that chickens (I guess I should say Hens) lay eggs even without a rooster! The rooster of course fertilizes those eggs, but is not required for the Hens to produces eggs. Have we become so detached from nature that we don’t understand the fundamental truths that sustain us? It is time to get reacquainted with the earth, with the animals and the ecosystem of which we are all a part and depend on. Get started with your chicken coop this weekend!
Lastly, we’ve developed a number of designs for any authentic Montessori school (meaning AMS or AMI trained Montessori Directors/Directresses in every classroom) to use Free of Charge! Here is the link to those designs: http://montessorimadmen.com/designs If you like what you see, simply email us…and we’ll send you the files. Use ‘em on billboards, bus shelters, brochures. Get busy…children need to know about your school!