Phil Gang and David Kahn Events are coming up in November and December.
Don't miss out! See Upcoming Community Events Section below for details.
The Colorado Montessori Association is a membership organization that serves and unites the community of Montessori educators and supporters in our state. CMA prepares a respectful and collaborative environment for advocacy, networking, and professional development, which incubates our individual and collective potential to transform education in Colorado.
Colorado Montessorians unite! Support Montessori advocacy in Colorado while also enjoying the benefits of networking, community forums and discounts on events, including great speakers like Tim Seldin, Phil Gang and David Kahn!  

If you aren't already a member, click here to sign up now.  If you are a member, membership renewals happen with the new year, so don't forget to renew before January 1st, 2014.

Authentic Montessori through Faithful Teachers 

By Pauline Meert
In 1906, the first Montessori school opened its doors and an international phenomenon began. 107 years later, we, as Montessori teachers, are continuing to absorb the depth of her philosophy and grapple with the question, what is authentic Montessori. To answer this question, we must decide what essential components are necessary for Montessori to remain authentic and what role the teacher plays in this endeavor.

Jerry Abraham (2012) reminds us of how easily Montessori education can vary. Parents, teachers, and administrators each bring a unique understanding of what “Montessori” means. Montessori, wanting to allow her method to be accessible, never trademarked her work making it available to all (2002). While this has allowed for a unique variety in schools, it has also created disagreements on what is essential.  We cannot let disagreements divide us, we should instead be learning from each other. By doing this, we can strengthen our teaching and learn from each other in order to remain centered on the philosophy and the children.

In the article “Finding the Right School” (2002) we read an in-depth analysis of the various components needed for a Montessori environment to be “just right”.  It provides concrete examples of what some of these non-negotiable elements are, such as, the scarcity of desks, the full range of Montessori materials, the ratio of children of both genders and mixed ages, and the overall atmosphere of the classroom (2002). Most Montessorians agree that these elements are important to the success of a classroom. However, we must dig deeper to find what truly makes a classroom authentic.

In his video lecture Authentic Montessori, M. J. Dorer (2008) defines the term authentic as per the dictionary as something which is true to its original form (2008). We could look at Montessori education’s original form in two ways. One way would be in the concrete and physical aspect, where a classroom would need to be identical to Maria’s original school. Another way would be through its fidelity to the philosophy. The philosophy is far more abstract, but it is where the heart of Montessori education can be found. By following the philosophy, all other concrete aspects will follow. 

Tim Seldin (2006) clearly illustrates how each one of us interprets Montessori’s method in a unique way making it difficult to define what is purely true to the original form. Seldin notes how “the only truly authentic Montessorian was Dr. Maria Montessori herself.” (2006). While it is true that we may never be as Montessori as Maria was, we must always thrive to understand and practice her philosophy of guiding the “teacher within the child.” (x, 1998). It is when teachers remain faithful to the philosophy that authentic Montessori can happen.

As Montessorians, we need to learn from each other and celebrate our differences while remaining true to Montessori’s original philosophy. We need to take into account the many components that make up a Montessori classroom. But most importantly, we must remember that authentic Montessori is only possible if the teacher is faithful to the philosophy.


Abraham, J. (2012). How Much Water Can You Add and Still Call It Lemonade. Montessori Life, 22-25.
Dorer, M. (2008). Authentic Montessori, Streaming Media Recording. St. Paul, MN: The College of St. Catherine.
Rambusch, N. M., & Stoops, J. A. (2002). Finding the right school. The Montessori Way.
Seldin, T. (2006). Finding an authentic Monessori school. The Montessori Foundation.
Standing, E. M. (1998). Maria Montessori: Her Life and Work. New York: Penguin Group.
Pauline Meert can be found at:,

Phil Gang
Friday, November 15, 2013
Time: 7:00 - 9:00 PM
Host: Montessori Education Center of the Rockies (MECR) and Colorado Montessori Association (CMA)
Topic: You are the Universe Presentation
Cost:  Donations to help flood victims
Location:  Montessori Education Center of the Rockies; 4745 Walnut Street Boulder CO 80301
RSVP: Required.  RSVP with name, phone number, and email address to

For More Detailed Information click here
David Kahn
Montessori as Social Reform: Peace and Wholeness Through Education
Friday, December 4, 2013
Time: 5:30-7:00 PM
Host: Colorado Montessori Association
Topic:  David Kahn discusses why Montessori Education heals social ills, and then subsequently builds character and social interest in making a contribution to the world. Why does Montessori succeed in making better human being is the worst of human condition since its inception?
Cost:  $10 for members, $20 for non-members, $40 for membership ($35 value) + event *RSVP TO EVITE; REGISTRATION AND PAYMENT AT THE DOOR*
Location:  MAC; 2500 Curtis Street Denver 80205
Thursday, November 21, 2013 
Time: 1:00 PM
HostChildren's Garden Montessori
Topic:  CPP & State Funding for ECE
Cost: None
Location:  444 Detroit Street  Denver  80206

Come and join other Montessori Heads of School as we network, discuss relevant issues and support one another in leading our schools.  Don't miss it!

The Power of Preschool Photography Exhibit
October 28 - November 24, 2013 
Host: Denver Preschool Program, Mile High United Way, and the Denver Central Library
Times: 10 am - 8 pm MT, 9 am - 5 pm WThF, 1 pm - 5 pm Weekends
Topic:  The Denver Preschool Program photography exhibit, The Power of Preschool, offers a glimpse into the day of a preschool child through the lens of five local, award-winning photographers.
Cost: None
Location:  14th and Broadway (Denver Central Library)
Letter From the President...

November 2013
Dear CMA Members,
Golden leaves, windy evenings, lost and found baskets beginning to fill with solitary mittens - it is the fall season in Montessori schools across Colorado.  
The Colorado Montessori Association is a toddler now, almost 18 months old, and it will be time to renew memberships soon. Each month the CMA board meets together to discuss Montessori education in Colorado and the United States, considering how we might support its growth.  As we eight gather around a round table upstairs in a Denver Montessori school, you can feel the passion that fuels us.  With the passion come our questions both big and small. Small -  how can we best manage our mailing list? Big - how might public and private Montessori programs work together most effectively for the good of children in Colorado?  Small - how much food do we need for our next event? Big - how might Amendment 66 affect us if it passes?  Small - who has time to work with a web designer?  Big - how will TQRIS affect us, and how might we advocate for the philosophy and practice we cherish?  
Our small concerns are often so time-consuming that sometimes if feels as thought we don't get beyond them, but we actually do.  During this first year we have hosted two meet and greet events at RAFT in Denver;  an evening with Jackie Cossentino of the National Center for Montessori in the Public Sector; and co-hosted the Administrator's Bootcamp with the Early Childhood Education Association of Colorado. CMA members were invited to hear Tim Seldin speak in Denver last winter, on November 15 we will co-host Phil Gang from Endicott College with MECR in Boulder, and on December 4, David Kahn will speak. Board members have advocated for Montessori education at the Colorado legislative level and with CDHS and CDE.  We continue to partner  with AMS and AMI in their efforts to build a coalition that can be powerful and effective.  
But we are just getting started. I often leave our monthly meetings with mixed emotions. I love working with some of the most dedicated and intelligent Montessori educators I have met, yet feel frustrated by the distance between our dreams and our ability to realize them.  It's not for lack of trying.  We need the help of our members!   We need your ideas, your voices, and your talents. As I write this I know for a fact that we have asked for your help before, some of you have offered it, and we have not always been able to follow up consistently enough to actually use what has been offered. Once again - it's not for lack of trying! 
We enthusiastically invite you to strengthen your ties with us.  Like a grove of aspen trees, we share common roots. Although we have differences, there is much we share, and our schools and our practice can be made stronger by collaboration. Email us.  Call us.  Stop us at our next meet and greet.  Come to our events.  Start a conversation in a forum on our website.  Comment on our Facebook page.  Volunteer to help organize or run an event.  Send us newsletter articles or photos for our newsletter or website. Add your own ideas to ours.  We are listening. 
Kathryn Ross
President, CMA
The Gift of Gratitude

With November here and Thanksgiving right around the corner, I am reminded that one of the most powerful gifts that we can give our students (and ourselves) is the gift of gratitude.  Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays; food and family and taking time to be thankful being some of my very favorite things.

My mother used to always say to us, "We are rich in love." or "We are rich in leaves this fall."  I loved that. It made me take a look around and think to myself how grateful I was for the gifts in my life.  And when I am grateful, I am at peace.  Further, when I'm with someone who is grateful, it fills me up with warmth and a feeling of friendship and makes me want to think about all of the things that make me grateful too.

I see people every day looking miserable and plugged in, hardly even noticing the people and the scenery around them, complaining about ridiculous things. In the current age of information and technology, and with all of the demands on our attention and consciousness, our stress levels are rising rapidly and our attention spans are waning.  And, if I'm honest with myself, I am a huge culprit of the same behavior. Moving from one urgent task to another and one gadget to the next, being "productive" rather than present,

The beauty of Montessori is that we not only give ourselves permission to slow down and make the time to be grateful, but we build it into our daily lives and routines in the classroom.  It is a part of the spiritual preparation of the teacher and it is a part of our curriculum every day.  It is one of the reasons that the Montessori classroom is such a happy place.

So, with the pressures of holidays coming near, take a deep breath and make a practice in your classroom (and in your daily life) of gratitude.  It is contagious and wonderful, and will bring joy to your life and your students' lives without fail.

Submitted by,
Rachel Averch
Montessori Children's House of Denver
Get Involved with CMA... 
Speakers Needed
  • Rocky Mountain Early Childhood Conference: Request for Presenter Proposals:  Help CMA get the Montessori voice heard at the Rocky Mountain Early Childhood Conference.  The conference is being held March 14th and 15th at the Colorado Convention Center.  Proposals will be accepted through October 16th.  If you are interested in being a presenter, click here for more information.
  • CMA is putting together some mini-presentations with our community members.  Are you interested in presenting something cool that you are doing in your classroom?  Would you like to speak on a topic that you care about?  We want to gather a groundswell of people just like you to come and talk at a CMA workshop.  Sound right up your alley?  Email CMA at: with some details about yourself and what you might like to speak about.
Articles Needed - Submission deadline: the 3rd Friday of each month.
  • Are you a published author?  Would you like to be? Submit your original work to CMA by the 3rd Friday of each month with the possibility of having your article selected for one of the future newsletters.  Submit articles for consideration to CMA at with a copy of your article and some details about yourself.  (CMA reserves the right to edit all material prior to publication). 
Teacher Tips Column - Submission deadline: the 3rd Friday of each month.
  • Would you like to contribute a monthly column to the CMA newsletter?  CMA is looking for someone to write the monthly Teacher Tips column for the newsletter.  If you are interested, please email CMA at: with a sample Teacher Tip and some details about yourself.
Newsletter Editor
  • If you would like to be involved with CMA on a more regular basis, consider becoming the CMA Newsletter editor.  The newsletter is distributed monthly, and this volunteer position compiles the articles, edits the content, makes sure that any important updates are captured each month and sends the newsletter out to the Colorado Montessori community.
  • If you are interested, please email CMA at:
Be a member!
  • If you aren't already, sign up to become a member of the Colorado Montessori Association, by clicking here.  
  • If you are already a member, don't forget to renew your membership now!
2014 Rocky Mountain Early Childhood Conference
Now Accepting Presenter Proposals: Let's hear from the Montessori Community!

The Rocky Mountain Early Childhood Conference (RMECC) returns to the Colorado Convention Center March 14-15, 2014.  Help us line up a stellar slate of workshops by submitting a Presenter Proposal (click for more information on how to submit proposal and presenter expectations).  You can also email, or call 303-791-2772 for more information.

Presenting at RMECC not only offers the chance to address a diverse group of early childhood professionals - ranging from program administrators to policy makers to classroom teachers and more - but at nearly 2,000 attendees each year, it also provides the opportunity to address a LARGE group of these same individuals.

Click here for the wide range of topics for which we are seeking submissions.  Since our focus is on children birth to age 8, we are looking for proposals that address that entire age spectrum - with particular interest this year on presentations emphasizing the K-3 years.
Amendment 66: Get Informed!
Please Research Amendment 66 Before Voting!

CMA is not taking a position for or against Amendment 66, but is encouraging membership to make an informed decision before voting this November.  Below is some information that we have received from other organizations, as well as links to more information and webinars. Please take advantage of this and any other available information before voting in November.


Affordable Care Act Information from CDHS
Dear Colorado Child Care Provider

As you may know, the federal Affordable Care Act may affect you and your employees.  Below please find a link to a website that is designed to assist child care providers in navigating the Affordable Care Act.
Division of Early Care and Learning

Head of School

Children's Garden Montessori
Denver, CO

Start Date: June 2014

Position Description
Children's Garden Montessori School (CGMS) is seeking a talented leader and educator as its Head of School (HOS) commencing with the 2014/2015 school year when our current Head of School retires.  We are in our 40th year of providing nurturing and child-centered Montessori education to students aged 18 months to 6 years. The HOS serves as the school's chief executive, responsible for overseeing all aspects of the school's operation and implementing its educational mandate and strategic priorities. The new HOS will join a successful, vibrant preschool and work with dedicated teachers, experienced administrative and admissions personnel, and committed board members in guiding CGMS into its next chapter.

To learn more about this opportunity, interested candidates should visit the school's website at

Montessori Certified (Long Term) and ECT Qualified Substitutes

Montessori Children's House of Denver
Denver, CO
Start Date: November 2013 / January 2014

Position Description

MCHD is currently interviewing for both Montessori Certified and ECT Qualified Substitutes for the 2013-2014 School Year.  *We have both Montessori Certified Lead and ECT Qualified long term substitute teaching positions available covering planned extended leaves of absence.  Apply now for a great opportunity to work within the MCHD community.
Position Requirements

Montessori Certified Substitutes: Montessori Certification through an accredited teacher training program

Bachelor's Degree is preferred. 

ECT (Early Childhood Teacher) Qualified Substitutes: ECT Qualifications under CDHS Regulations
ECT applicants should be familiar with the Montessori Philosophy.  

Bachelor's Degree is preferred.

For more information about MCHD, visit our website: 
Please email or fax completed application and resume to Beatrice Watson, Executive Director:   Fax: 303-355-8629  Phone: 303-322-8324 x 21


Long-term, full-time substitute Toddler credentialed Montessori Teacher

Montessori School of Denver
Denver, CO

Start Date: 12/02/2013

Position Description

The Montessori School of Denver is looking for a long-term, full-time substitute Toddler credentialed Montessori teacher to help lead one of our beautiful classroom communities from December 2nd to mid January (off December 23 â€“ January 5th for Winter Break) during a planned leave for one of our permanent teachers.

Position Requirements
Hours: 8:00 am -4:00 pm
Qualifications: AMS Toddler Credientialed, College Degree, classroom experience
Start: 12/02/13

Julie Bragdon,
Please fill out a MSD job application located on our website:

Executive Director

Mountain West Montessori Academy
South Jordan, UT
Start Date: February 2014

Position Description

MWMA, a new public Montessori charter school, opening 08/2014, seeks an experienced executive director to implement our school mission and build a Montessori school culture.

Crista Sanchez at Academica West 
E-mail: Phone: (801) 444-9378
School Website:
Online Application:

If you have a position that you would like to see posted in the CMA newsletter, please contact us with your position information at: 

Cost:  $35.00 per month for Member Schools, $75.00 per month for Non-Member Schools. 

Position posting deadline is the 3rd Friday of each month for the coming month's newsletter.

To become a CMA member school, click here.


Coriander Grinding
from: Pinterest and
Absorbent Minds Montessori


Montessori Inspired Fall Activities
from: Pinterest and Living Montessori Now


7 ways to turn your fall leaf collection into art
from: Pinterest and Handmade Charlotte

CMA Board of Directors

Kathryn Ross - President
RB Fast - Vice President
Rachel Averch - Secretary

Katy Myers - Treasurer
Dot Thompson
Sheila Wolfe
Lyn Mead
Karen Farquharson
Jim Barrett

Contact us by e*mail

Member Benefits:

  • Two program administrators are enrolled at no extra charge.
  • Lead teachers receive a $10 discount on membership.
  • Discounts on admission to CMA sponsored professional development events.
  • Featured on CMA website with a link to the school’s website.
  • $40 discount on job advertisements in the CMA newsletter.
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Would you like to have an article you have written published, or do you have any great teacher tips, photos or noteworthy events that you would like to share in the CMA Newsletter?  If so, please e*mail CMA! The deadline for newsletter submitting is the 3rd Friday of each month.
Edited by: Rachel Averch