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.

Why I Love Montessori After 22 Years 

By Mel Brandl
My Montessori career began when I was 3 years old. I was a part of the first class at what is now the Mayfair campus at MCHD (back then it was the only campus). I was a Montessori student for only 2 years, but some of the most important lessons of my life happened during that short time.
While I was going to school at Montessori, I loved pretty much all of the works in the classroom, especially the moveable alphabet and the binomial cube. I really enjoyed show and tell, especially when I got to bring my baby sister to show. During my Celebrations of Life, I always chose to get hugs from my friends. When my mom came to pick me up after lunch, I was always excited to share what I did that day, what works I mastered, who I played with, and any art that I made. I had a lot of friends and liked to play and work with everyone in my class.
These sorts of stories probably sound pretty familiar, but my experience does not end there. Being the oldest of four girls, I got to watch all of my sisters go through Montessori too and whenever I could, I volunteered to help in the classroom as a mentor. I got to watch all of the younger kids learning new things, making friends, and going through the same experience I did. Through that kind of interaction, everything I learned during my time was reinforced.
I carried the lessons I learned from Montessori with me throughout the rest of my schooling, Disguised as fun works and playing with friends, the most important things Montessori taught me were a love for learning and a strong sense of community. I blazed through elementary and middle school, trying out challenging things and pushing myself to learn as much as I could. In high school, I entered into the International Baccalaureate program and I strongly credit my success in the program to my Montessori training. Not only did it teach me to expand my knowledge, but also to think in many ways and not conform to one way of learning. It also taught me to look toward my peers for guidance and support.
I went to college to study theatre and found myself taking many classes outside my major just to gain new knowledge and challenge myself. During my last two years, I took on many roles in leading organizations and teaching younger students.
After graduating, I was drawn back to the idea of working at the school that gave me so much. I am so amazed at how the little school I went to as a child has expanded to help teach more and more children the important lessons I learned. I love going to work each day and not only watching the children learn, but also learning things from them myself. I really believe that Montessori helped shape the person I am today. And it helped train me to always push in my chair. 
Article Submitted by: Melissa Brandl, Montessori Student

Thursday, October 17, 2013 
Time: 1:00 PM
Host: Montessori Academy of Colorado
Topic:  TQRIS & Amendment 66, RB Fast
Cost: None
Location:  2500 Curtis Street, Denver, CO 80205

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!


Catch your students doing the right thing.
Have you ever had a student that absorbed your time and energy and kept you busy with their misbehavior?  Or a group of students? Are there some that want to have your attention at all costs?  Are there others that seem more concerned with making their friends laugh than with following the expectations of the classroom or behaving respectfully?

If so, than you are in good company, and you and your students are normal!  Every teacher experiences these frustrations from time to time, but the real question is: what can you do to improve the situation?

One of the most effective tools I have found for managing misbehavior is deeply believing that all of the children are inherently "good", and then catching them doing the right thing every chance that I get. Over the years, I have consistently noticed that I regularly get more of what I pay attention to, whether it is positive or negative.

When I give my attention to, and really take notice of, the children who are doing the right thing, they feel acknowledged for their positive choices and suddenly they, as well as others, are regularly excited by (and themselves paying attention to) their successes rather than their failures.  After all, don't we all want to be recognized for what we do well?

And, for those students who regularly defy behavioral rules because they have begun to believe that they are not inherently good after seeing frustration or disappointment reflected back at them from the eyes of the adults they love a few too many times, getting caught in the act of doing the right thing often enough can turn their tragic beliefs about themselves around and help them find their own light and hidden potential again.

So, continue to focus on the positive and on the personal successes of each child. Your classroom, your students, and your own peace of mind will all benefit from the experience.

Article Submitted by: Rachel Averch
Montessori Children's House of Denver

Amendment 66: Get Informed!

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.


"Thank you for attending ECEA’s 2nd annual Boot Camp.  We hope that you found the day informative.  Our signature session was designed to give attendees a taste of some of the projects that are underway and that may affect your programs.  We had hoped for a neutral presentation on Amendment 66, so in light of Frank Watrous’ presentation we felt that you should see the opposition’s remarks.

1) Amendment 66 is a $950 million tax increase that may impede economic expansion at a time when the state’s economy is still recovering. Increasing state income taxes reduces the money that households have to spend or save. As a result, consumer spending and overall economic activity may also decline, negatively impacting the competitiveness of Colorado businesses. The state currently has adequate financial resources to implement Senate Bill 13-213 for the next year without a tax increase. The legislature set aside $1.1 billion in budget year 2012-13 and an estimated $290 million in budget year 2013-14 for P-12 public education. These recent set-asides are indicative of an expanding economy that may permit adequate investment in P-12 public education without additional tax revenue.

2) This measure imposes an additional tax burden on state taxpayers without any guarantee of increased academic achievement. Senate Bill 13-213 makes incremental changes to the school funding allocation formula without providing significant educational reform. This approach lacks real accountability as the new funding formula does not reward schools or districts that show gains in student achievement. Amendment 66 leaves in place an outmoded system of delivering education that has not shown significant measurable improvements for students on state assessments.

3) Under the measure, taxpayers in some school districts will pay more in new taxes than these districts will receive in new revenue. All individuals will see a state income tax increase of at least 8.0 percent to implement the new P-12 education formula, and some will see substantially higher percentage increases. At the same time, under Senate Bill 13-213, 37 of 178 school districts will see increases in funding of less than 8.0 percent. Thus, the measure maintains a funding structure that uses tax revenue from some districts in order to subsidize P-12 education in other districts."

For more information from the opposition, please visit:

We encourage you to become informed about this ballot initiative and vote in November"


CANPO (Colorado Association of Non-Profits) is hosting the following series of discussions on Amendment 66 and its impact on nonprofits and the state's educational system in October:
  • Statewide Webinar | Tuesday | Oct 15 | 2--3 p.m.
  • Denver | Wednesday | Oct 16 | 2--3 p.m.
  • Greeley | Thursday | Oct 17 | 10--11 a.m.
  • Fort Collins | Thursday | Oct 17 | 2--3 p.m.
  • Boulder | Wednesday | Oct 23 | 10--11 a.m.
  • Colorado Springs | Wednesday | Oct 23 | 2--3 p.m.
  • Pueblo | Friday | Oct 25 | 3--4 p.m.


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.
  • Would you like to be published?  Do you have something that you care about that you want to have reach the Colorado Montessori community?  This is your chance!  If you have an article that you would like considered for the CMA newsletter, please email CMA at: with a copy of your article and some details about yourself.
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!
Please help us protect high quality Montessori Early Childhood Education by taking this quick survey:
AMS and AMI are asking for your help.  Newly implemented Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) are impacting Montessori early childhood programs in almost every state. These QRIS programs give a grade to every ECE program based on criteria such as the number of plush toys, blocks and accessories, and other environmental elements as well as teacher-child interactions. The result is that while play-based day care centers may score well, it appears that Montessori programs do not. When these grades are released to the public, the effect on the Montessori community could be devastating.
Help us to help you and the Montessori community by taking 5 minutes to complete this survey. This information is being used to create tools and methods of advocacy to support you on the state, local and national levels.

Click on link for survey:  QRIS Survey
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

Substitute Teachers (Montessori Certified / ECT Qualified)

Montessori Children's House of Denver
Denver, CO
Start Date: School Year 2013-2014


MCHD is currently interviewing for both Montessori Certified and ECT Qualified Substitutes for the 2013-2014 School Year.
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 Montessori Children's House of Denver, please visit our website:
Please email or fax completed application and resume to / 303-355-8629.
Contact information: Beatrice Watson, Executive Director Fax: 303-355-8629  Phone: 303-322-8324 x 21


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.


Fairies in a Jar
from: Pinterest


Homemade Weaving Looms
from: Pinterest and Buggy and Buddy


Pushing up Umbrellas
from: Pinterest

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.
Forward to Friend
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