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.
Don't miss these two fabulous CMA
co-sponsored events coming up in September:

CMA has joined up with Jarrow Montessori School, MECR, and Naropa University to sponsor Michael Gurian to speak about The Minds of Boys and Girls in Boulder on September 6th.

CMA has also teamed up with the ECEA of Colorado to bring Administrators the annual Boot Camp Training Day
See the "Upcoming Community Events"
section below for all of the exciting details!
What:      Michael Gurian speaking on the minds of boys and girls 
When:      Saturday, September 6th, 2014, 6:30-8:30 pm
Where:     Naropa University * Nalanda Campus * 6287 Arapahoe Avenue, Boulder CO 80302

Michael Gurian is a New York Times bestselling author of twenty six books published in twenty one languages and co-founder of The Gurian Institute which conducts research internationally, launches pilot programs, and trains professionals. As a social philosopher, Michael has pioneered efforts to bring neuro-biology and brain research into homes, schools, corporations, and public policy. A number of his books have sparked national debate, including THE WONDER OF BOYS, THE WONDER OF GIRLS, BOYS AND GIRLS LEARN DIFFERENTLY!, and LEADERSHIP AND THE SEXES. Learn more.

This event is being sponsored by: Jarrow Montessori School, Colorado Montessori Association, Montessori Education Center of the Rockies, and Naropa University. For more information, see full flier here.

MECR (Montessori Education Center of the Rockies) September Workshops

10% discount on checkout for 2 or more attendees from the same school if you register by August 29!

Location and Directions:
All workshops are held at Montessori Education Center of the Rockies: 4745 Walnut St, Boulder, CO 80301
For directions and a map, please visit our PLACE page.
Register by Friday, August 29 by clicking here.

Note: space is limited: once a workshop is full no further registrations will be accepted. No walk-in registrations can be accepted. Your receipt confirms your enrollment in specific workshops selected. Participants receive Certificates of Attendance for up to 10 hours of professional development.

Directors' Network Meeting
Directors' Network Meetings will begin again in September for the 2014-2015 School Year.  
Kick off the school year right, and come and join us on September 18th from 1:00-3:00 pm to hear P. Donohue Shortridge speak on rallying school to excellence in Montessori.

What:       Directors' Network Meeting
Speaker:  P. Donohue Shortridge
When:      Thursday, September 18th, 2014, 1:00-3:00 pm
Where:     Location to be announced
Topic:       Rallying the School to Excellence in Montessori

More details to follow in September's Newsletter.
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!
Boot Camp Training Day: For Owners, Directors, and Administrators
What:      Third Annual Boot Camp for Administrators
When:      Tuesday, September 26th, 2014
Where:     The Summit Conference and Event Center, 411 Sable Blvd. Aurora
Register Online:

CMA is partnering with the ECEA (Early Childhood Education Association of Colorado) to bring you the annual Administrators' Boot Camp Training Day.

Workshops include: New QRIS - "Colorado Shines", How to Hire Right and Retain Employees, Team-Building, Emotional Intelligence, Social/Emotional Tools, Montessori Topics, Emergency Preparedness, Future of Child Care - Owner's Only.  For more information, see full flier 
hereor visit the ECEA Website

Save the date now and be sure to join us!
What Makes a Montessori Program "Authentic?"
by Kelly Klotz

I began my Montessori journey in 1991 when I worked a third job at a Montessori school while in college.

In 1993, after graduating with a Bachelor’s in psychology, I took my Montessori Training at CMTE/NY and became the lead pre-primary Directress the following year.   All 3 of my children have been in Montessori classrooms from the infant/toddler level through their elementary years.  I have since had the opportunity to work in 5 different Montessori schools and have observed countless others.  Each school and classroom I observed and worked in was very different from the other but did share at least one common thread; they were all Montessori programs.  But, were they authentic?
I admit it.  Every classroom I walk into, including my own, I ask myself this question, “Is this Montessori classroom in line with the phenomenon Dr. Montessori observed and the method she created, wrote and spoke about?”  I also ask, “Is this teacher really and absolutely implementing the Montessori philosophy without compromise?”  Am I?  My mind often reaches toward these questions whether involved with a child in my own environment, attending a Montessori conference, or observing in another classroom. Would Montessori herself approve of this practice, I wonder?    

Over the years, I have engaged in many “healthy” discussions related to the topic of program validity or a teacher’s interpretation of Montessori ideas and practices.  The phrase, “That’s not Montessori,” has been heard and, yes, spoken by myself.  But really, what does it mean?  Unfortunately, we cannot have a conversation with Dr. Montessori herself about philosophy and best practices.

The wondering about authentic practice is heightened by the tests teachers are required to give at younger ages, primarily in the public sector, and the push to read within a predetermined, state mandated time frame.  Teachers feel the stress when required to “push” children into reading instead of allowing them to “come” to read, as Dr. Montessori discovered naturally happens in a prepared environment which follows the language sequence she outlined.  Teachers are torn between following the child and adhering to the state standards that place requirements on what, when, and sometimes, how a child should learn.
When I start to become overwhelmed with my questioning about “authenticity,” it helps when I remember how Dr. Montessori began her path into education.  She had no “Montessori Training” or “Manuals” in which to refer.  How did she know what to do?  She started by observing the children.  From those early observations, her theories on early childhood education developed, and over time, evolved into her method that we speak of today.  Maria Montessori wrote, “Respect all the reasonable forms of activity in which the child engages and try to understand them.”  I don’t have a definitive answer as to what makes a Montessori program truly “authentic” or not.  I can only continue in my growth and learning of early childhood, Montessori education and theory and simply do what Dr. Montessori herself did.  She observed the child, gave respect to all reasonable forms of activity and was driven to make sense of them.   I know there is more to any “accredited” Montessori program than that.  There are the materials, the carefully prepared environment, lessons, the training, experience and credentials of those involved, etc.  But at the root of it all, my hope and goal, is to observe and understand each child.  I appreciate the rationale behind state mandates, standards, expectations and tests in education, but we must entertain several questions.  Do they fit into the picture of what Dr. Montessori envisioned?  Are we getting side-tracked, stressed and distracted from her vision because of these state requirements? 

If our children truly contain, as Dr. Montessori believed, everything needed to realize their potential and transform into the adult they will become, then we need to trust the process of their individual development.  We need to trust each other as “guides” and educators.  We need to not let fear and the stress of test scores distract us from the miracle of unfolding that happens in front of us every day.  Observe, respect, and try to understand.  Maybe authenticity simply starts here.

Article Submitted by: Kelly Klotz


Discovering Montessori Deep in Your Soul
By Illyce Kaarto

How did you feel when you truly discovered Montessori deep in your soul?  Just close your eyes, breathe deeply, and recollect...

Perhaps it was by happy accident.   Or, maybe it was a purposeful choice.  Did it end up calling you...or did you grow into it?  Was Montessori a sudden realization, or did it formulate over years? Maybe you were in your training, or a dad, a beginning guide, or an experienced guide. Everyone has a Montessori tale.  What is yours?

As your mind quiets and you begin to remember, did certain words continue to recur for you?  For each of us, these words will be different...yet, I wonder how much they also have in common.   Perhaps these words encompass words such as wonderment, revolutionary, transformative, logical, cosmic, peaceful, joyful, genius, brilliant, novel, forward, scientific...saintly.

What are your own personal words?  Encourage your mind to gift itself with a few silent moments to think on them, your first feelings of Montessori then and even, now.  I wonder how your words first fit into your journey as a new Montessorian, and how they might fit in differently now.  Or, perhaps there is no difference?

As we move along in our years on our own personal Montessori journeys, we experience and honor this adventure in our own ways, as do our children in their work.  But, ponder, what has your journey been like?  Where are you now?  And, where are you going?  Perhaps you are questioning Montessori.  You may even feel confused, overwhelmed, lost, and alone.  You might be involved in the widening of your Montessori travels.  Or, maybe you are just joyful and simple in the Montessori moments that are happening to you right now with your children.

Wherever you are in this journey, think of the beginning.  The reasons.  Your dedication.  Why you chose to be here, and the heart of why you are still here.  For you, only.  Why?

Is it about the children?  Or, maybe it is about peace in the universe.  Perhaps you just have fun with it each day!  Maybe it is about your love for the curriculum, or your love for the children, or your love for giving to our world.  Or is it a passion for science or literature?

Recollect, and find, your reasons, the ones from the very beginning.  If they have felt lost to you, nurture and have faith in them.  If they have only more fully blossomed for you over the years, are there ways in which you could enable them to grow them some more?  Invite your reasons back in, and hold them in your heart.  You may find you have revealed to yourself your true passion for Montessori, be it still with you or be it receding, and perhaps your soul might feel renewed in continuing our work towards Dr. Montessori's unwavering passion for human unity.
Just rest your eyes now...and recollect.

"A teacher, therefore, who would think that he could prepare himself for his mission through study alone would be mistaken.  The first thing required of a teacher is that he be rightly disposed for his task.   -Dr. Maria Montessori, The Secret of Childhood

Article Submitted by: Illyce Kaarto

Note from the Editor: July's Teacher Tip was an accidental re-print of June's Teacher Tip under a different title due to an editor error. We would like to apologize for the editorial error and to thank Illyce for her submittals and our readers for their understanding.
Would You Like To Use Our New Member Logo?

If you are a member of the Colorado Montessori Association and would like to use our member logo (shown below) for promotional use with your school, please fill out a CMA Logo Use Application.
Call for Presenters - Montessori In The Mountains: Estes Park Retreat
Save September 25-27, 2015 for the second "Montessori in the Mountains" Conference Retreat at the YMCA Conference Center in Estes Park. This event is sponsored by Montessori Education Center of the Rockies and proposals from presenters are currently invited. (Deadline for proposals is 9/30/14). Please e-mail Dot Thompson to request a Proposal Form or if you have any questions. Retreat registration will start in January 2015.
Raffle Prize Donations Needed
As we are gearing up for our annual CMA Meet and Greet Event, we are inviting our members to donate items for the Raffle Prizes. If you have an item or a service that you would like to donate, please email us at:
Member Schools can now sport the CMA "Member Program" Logo on their websites!
If you are a member school, and you want to show your connection to CMA on your website or handouts, you now can by just completing a copy of this Use Agreement form and sending it to CMA by email. Once received, CMA will send you a jpg copy of the CMA "Member Program" Logo (image below) to use in accordance with the agreement.

CMA thanks you for your support and your interest in using the CMA logo in association with your school. We see it as the highest compliment!
CMA's Public Policy Committee Guidelines
The Colorado Montessori Association is committed to engaging in advocacy efforts on behalf of Colorado's Montessori schools, teachers, and families. Through these advocacy efforts, we will engage with State offices, such as the Department of Education and the Department of Human Services, we will partner with advocacy organizations working on the same issues, as well as through engagement with elected officials. If you are interested in knowing more about CMA's Public Policy Committee Guidelines that guide our decisions and advocacy efforts, please click here.
Lead Teachers
Montessori Children's House of Denver
Denver, CO
Start Date: August 2014

Position Description

MCHD is currently accepting applications for a Toddler Montessori Certified Lead Teacher for the 2014-2015 School Year. Apply now for an opportunity to work within the MCHD community!

Position Requirements
Montessori Certification at the Toddler Level through a MACTE accredited teacher training program
For more information, click here for the Toddler Lead Teacher Position.

Please email or fax resume to Attn: Michelle O'Donoghue, Executive Director. Email: Fax: 303-355-8629  Phone: 303-322-8324 x 121

Mountain Shadows Montessori School
Boulder, CO
Start Date: August 2014

Position Description
Mountain Shadows Montessori School is seeking an Assistance to Infancy lead guide for our full year all day program serving children ages 12 months through 3 years beginning in August 2014. We are looking for energetic and dedicated Montessorians who are passionate about the opportunity to continue growing our Young Child’s Community program. We are located on a beautiful 12-acre country campus in the foothills of Boulder, Colorado. Child-focused, we are a trusted leader in the highest quality of Montessori in the state. An AMI Consultant serves as a permanent member of the school board. The area offers an unparalleled lifestyle with year round outdoor activities in the beautiful Rocky Mountains and outstanding cultural opportunities in nearby Denver. Salaries are comparable to Boulder public schools.

Position Requirements
An AMI Diploma is required for this position.

Email a letter of interest and resume to

Montessori School of Evergreen
Evergreen, CO
Start Date: August 2014

Position Description
The Montessori School of Evergreen offers nearly 300 students from age 12 months to eighth grade an education that fosters academic excellence, self-reliance and independence. MSE is located 35 minutes west of downtown Denver. Please check our web site to find out more about our school:
We are looking for a full-time assistant teacher who is able to progress children academically while embracing their unique personalities and who would like to be part of our Upper Elementary program. This position requires an individual who is willing to assist in planning and implementing an educational experience that is high achieving, enjoyable, creative and efficient in supporting students develop physically, emotionally, socially and cognitively. This team member will possess excellent skills at collaboration, a life-long love of learning and truly love working with children. The assistant position is a vital asset to the Montessori classroom community.

Position Requirements
This position requires a minimum of a Bachelor's Degree.

Interested candidates should submit a cover letter, resume, and references to Meghan Phillips at You may also call 303-842-3474.

Mountain Shadows Montessori School
Boulder, CO
Start Date: August 2014

Position Description
Mountain Shadows Montessori School is hiring classroom assistants for our Primary classes (3-6 years old) and our Young Child’s Community (1-3 years old).

The classroom assistants are responsible for the well-being of the children in the classroom as well as supporting the teacher with a variety of tasks. Some of these tasks include:  classroom organization, cleaning, playground supervision, Montessori material making, and more. The assistant is principally supporting the lead teacher rather than directly teaching children. This role requires someone who is responsible, detail oriented, and skilled with children ages 1-3 and 3-6 years. In addition the classroom assistants support evening childcare during Parent Education Nights and other evening meetings at MSMS as well as Activity Days offered during Parent Teacher Conferences

Position Requirements
Applicants must hold an Colorado Early Childhood Teacher certificate. No exceptions.

Please email a resume and brief cover letter to Tom Ferland, Recruiter at  Applications will be reviewed immediately for the 2014-15 school year which begins on August 11.

IT Coordinator and Technology Teacher
Free Horizon Montessori
Golden, CO
Start Date: August 2014

Position Description
Click Here

Position Requirements
Our specialist teachers must hold a Bachelor’s degree meet federal Highly Qualified criteria by passing the appropriate PLACE exam prior to employment.  Successful candidates will bring a minimum of 3 years of teaching experience (though this can be waived in some cases), an understanding of the relationship between curriculum, instruction, and assessment in supporting student achievement, and demonstrate comfort and competence in utilizing technology to enhance student learning.  

Interested candidates should complete the application and upload a resume and letter of introduction via our AppliTrack website at

School Social Worker
Free Horizon Montessori
Golden, CO
Start Date: August 2014

Position Description
We are seeking a dynamic School Social Worker to provide services and support for students in preschool through 8th grade at our beautiful Golden campus.  The School Social Worker serves as a vital member of our school’s Learning Resource Team and supports students on Individual Education Plans (IEP’s), completes assessments to determine eligibility for mental health specialized support services, creates required reports, and provides related services in the area of mental health to students who qualify while fulfilling all school, district, state, and federal requirements.  Duties include observation, evaluation, and testing students, collaboration with school professionals, attending IEP meetings, and assuring compliance with IDEA and ADA. Periodic consultation with parents is also required.  In addition, the School Social Worker will work with the general education population in order to assure comprehensive support as needed, connect students and families with resources, make referrals.  The School Social Worker provides counseling to students, runs support and skill development groups, and collaborates with teachers, administrators, and parents to address student behavior challenges.

Position Requirements
Candidate must meet qualifications per the Colorado Department of Education Special Service Provider Guidelines at

Interested candidates should complete the application and upload a resume and letter of introduction via our AppliTrack website at

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.
Get Involved with CMA... 
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). 
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!
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 David Kahn, Jackie Cossentino, Tim Seldin and Phil Gang!  
If you aren't already a member, click here to sign up now. 

Color Sorting Game
from: Pinterest and
Modern Parents Messy Kids
 Toddler Color Sorting Activities: Learning colors and a math concept (sorting) at the same time!
Making Patterns
From Pinterest and The Imagination Tree
Inspiration Montessori, facile à faire ! Possibilité de varier le matériel, perles, attrimath...
CMA Board of Directors
Kathryn Ross - President
RB Fast - Vice President
Rachel Averch - Secretary

Katy Myers - Treasurer
Sheila Wolfe
Lyn Mead
Karen Farquharson
Jim Barrett
Martha Teien

Contact us by e*mail
Join CMA Today!

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: Rose Henson