The Colorado Montessori Association is a powerful voice for Montessori advocacy providing a forum for networking and professional growth in the Montessori community. It is a highly functioning, evolving professional organization, unified in its vision, respectful, purposeful and inclusive.

Having Hard Conversations

How many hard conversations does the average Montessori teacher have in a day? A Montessori leader? A Montessori parent? For that matter, how many hard conversations does the average person have?

Probably not as many as we should. Sometimes the unspoken things that are sitting in the middle of the room needing to be said are walked around for fear of how others will react or feel if we say what we are thinking. We don't want to rock the boat. We want to be liked. Yes, we want to resolve the problems, but how much do we want to tell someone how we really feel about a situation? What if they feel offended or hurt?

How can we have the hard conversations that address the things that are getting in our way without destroying our valuable relationships? In her book, Fierce Conversations, author Susan Scott illustrates through several real-life anecdotes that avoiding hard conversations actually costs our relationships much more than having them does. However, the key is in how we have those hard conversations. 

Asking yourself some key questions can help: Am I coming into my hard conversations with presence, clarity, good intentions, calmness and compassion, and an open mind that is truly interested in hearing and considering all of the other perspectives? Or, am I coming into them charged up with emotion and with a mind that is set in its own point of view? Am I curious about hearing everyone's perspective to gain a clearer picture of what is happening from where all parties are standing, or am I already certain that I am right? Or, on the opposite end of the spectrum, am I so easily swept up into all of the other perspectives in the room that I lose my own voice easily and later feel that I conceded too much and didn't say everything that mattered? 


Having important conversations requires entering and knowing ourselves. It requires being curious and caring deeply about everyone's perspective and helping everyone to be honored and get their unique needs met. And it requires being open to the possibility, or rather likelihood, that we do not hold the truth, but rather just one piece of the truth. It is a skill that must be practiced and practiced. Like any important skill, it isn't easy and it requires hard work.

But it is the kind of hard work that is fulfilling and so well worth the effort. The person in the room who seeks to understand all perspectives and who can gently and compassionately start those conversations by respectfully stating exactly what they have observed and then invite others to do the same provides everyone with an opportunity for relief that only an important conversation well-had can bring.

If you haven't read Fierce Conversations yet, I definitely recommend it. As Montessorians, being skilled in this way is a gift that honors our students, their families, and everyone around us. And, perhaps most importantly, it authentically honors our own selves in a special way that allows us to walk in integrity with our values and our inner voice, and to do so in confidence. 

Submitted by: Rachel Averch, President - Montessori Children's House of Denver

Scott, Susan. Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work and In Life, One Conversation at a Time. New York: The Berkely Publishing Group, 2002, 2004. Print.
Minds of Montessori Mentors
March Meeting
When: Thursday, March 3, 5:00pm
Where: Compass Montessori Charter School, 4441 Salvia Street, Golden CO, 80403

Main Topics:
  • Protocol for a one-on-one conversation with staff and/or team
  • Steps for bringing Professional Development back to your school

Please feel free to bring your dinner and beverage. Dessert will be provided. Tour begins at 5:00PM, Dinner Meeting at 5:30PM. Please click here for more information

Please RSVP to Pat Howard at or 303-271-1977.

Benefits of serving on the CMA Board:

  • Advocate for Montessori through CDHS, CDE, and the legislature
  • Influence advocacy work and decisions
  • Plan fun gatherings for Montessori teachers
  • Participate in Montessori events across Colorado
  • Build a strong professional support network
  • Know you're making a difference daily!
Interested? Email your resume to us at:
March Meeting:
When: March 17th, 2016 1:00-3:00 pm
Where: Free Horizon Montessori, 581 Conference Pl, Golden, CO 80401

Topic: "Team Based Hiring Practices"
Kresta Vuolo

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!

If you are interested in hosting a Director's Network meeting at your school or in being a speaker, please email us at!

Pencil in the third Thursday of each month from 1:00-3:00 pm, and watch for the e*vites and newsletter announcements each month. Click here for the link to upcoming Director's Network Meetings

New Child Care Center Rules Effective February 1, 2016        

The Division of Early Care and Learning (DECL) is pleased to announce the new and updated Rules Regulating Child Care Centers (less than 24-hour care) are effective Monday, February 1, 2016.

The Division wants to assure that every provider is aware of the resources available:
Important: Implementation Timeline
The Division of Early Care and Learning will implement a six-month consultation period beginning February 1, 2016 through August 1, 2016. The implementation period includes only new rules that do not represent a health or safety concern for children or staff members at the facility. 

During the implementation period, a consultation sheet will be completed by the Licensing Specialist as part of the routine inspection to provide information and technical assistance regarding regulations in which the facility is expected to be in compliance. Citations for non-health and safety violations will not be given prior to August 1, 2016.

All rules regulating child care centers (less than 24-hour care) revised February 1, 2016 must be implemented before August 1, 2016 unless an alternative date is specified within rule or on the consultation sheet. Child care centers must be in compliance with all health and safety rules immediately. Health and safety rules are not included in the consultation period.

All questions may be directed to your Licensing Specialist or to the Division of Early Care and Learning, Licensing and Administration Unit at 1-800-799-5876 or
"Let us give the child a vision of the Whole Universe... the Universe is an important reality, and an answer to all questions. We shall walk together on this path of life: for all things are a part of the Universe, and are connected with each other to form one whole unity."
-Dr. Maria Montessori
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!  
Without members like you, CMA's work to ensure Montessori training for QRIS quality raters, advocacy for testing options for public Montessori schools, and the passing of House Bill 1276 allowing breakable waivers for Montessori schools wouldn't be possible...
If you aren't already a member, click here to sign up now. 

Member Schools can now sport the CMA "Member Program" Logo on their websites!
If you are a CMA member school or organization in good standing, it’s worth sharing that information!   That you have chosen to partner with other Montessori programs in the state gives additional credibility to not only your school, but Montessori education in general.
You are invited to add this “CMA Member Program” logo to your website, or use it in print publications.  We ask that you complete a “CMA Logo Use Application Form”, and send a signed copy to CMA via email to: Upon receipt of a signed agreement, we will respond to your email with a digital version of the program member logo shown below for your use.  

Young Child's Community (1-3 year olds) Classroom Assistant
Mountain Shadows Montessori School
Boulder, CO

About Us: 
Mountain Shadows was founded in 1976 and is located in a beautiful, renovated farm house on over 12 acres of land in Boulder County. Our program supports children using the internationally accredited Montessori model distinct for its hands-on academic materials, individual and small group lessons, and emphasis on supporting the development of the whole child - academically, socially and emotionally. 

Mountain Shadows is seeking applications for a classroom assistant for our Young Child's Community (1-3 year olds).

About the Position:
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 in the classroom age group. 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. Applicants MUST hold a Colorado Early Childhood Teacher certificate. No exceptions.
To Apply:
Please email a resume and brief cover letter to Tom Ferland, Recruiter at


Lead and Assistant Teachers for the 2016-2017 School Year
Montessori Children's House of Denver
Denver, CO

Position Description: 
MCHD is currently accepting applications from Assistant Teachers and Montessori Certified Lead Teachers for the 2016-2017 School Year. Apply now for an opportunity to work within the MCHD community!

Position Requirements:
Montessori Certification through a MACTE accredited teacher training program. BA and 2 or more years of lead teaching experience preferred, but not required. Click here for more information about the Montessori Children's House of Denver

Start Date: August 2016

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

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 & Images Needed - Submission deadline: the 3rd Friday of each month.
  • Are you a published author or photographer? Would you like to be? Submit your original work to CMA by the 3rd Friday of each month with the possibility of having your photographs and/or article selected for one of the future newsletters. Submit photographs and 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!
Matching Alphabet Beans Literacy Game
From Pinterest and The Imagination Tree

Gluten & Corn Free Play Dough Recipe
From Pinterest and Childhood 101

DIY Water Well
From Pinterest and Green Garden Blog

CMA Board of Directors
Kathryn Ross - President
RB Fast - Vice President

Lyn Mead - Treasurer
Rachel Averch - Secretary
Sheila Wolfe

Jim Barrett
Martha Teien

March Board Meeting:

Tuesday, March 29, 2016
Montessori Children's House of Denver Stapleton Campus
2211 Xanthia Way, Denver 80238


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.
Would you like to have an article you have written published, or do you have any great 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 for the coming month's newsletter.
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Edited by: Katie Beglin