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.
Let us know your thoughts...

As a member driven organization, we want to know what you think about CMA, the work that we are doing, and how we can best serve you and your schools.  

Please take a few minutes to take our survey and give us your feedback so that we can continue to improve as we serve and help unite the Colorado Montessori Community. The survey takes approximately 10-15 minutes to complete.

Thank you for taking this time out of your day to help us ensure CMA is meeting your needs effectively.

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. 

Deep Winter Tune-Up

By P. Donohue Shortridge

It’s February. Now would be a good time to renew your calling to Montessori. Shake off the winter doldrums and bring a reinvigorated life to the daily practices.

Here are some suggestions:

• Revive your relationship to the materials. Pull out your albums one at a time and read each page anew. Go deeper. Practice more; expand your extensions and variations. Keep your materials beautiful and even consider moving some shelves around to give the children something new to look at. Choose a material that is gathering dust on the shelf, take it out and do the lesson yourself. You will shortly have a bevy of children around you clamoring to have a turn.

• Enhance your observation skills. We cannot observe if we are too busy doing. Make a pledge to yourself to stand back and really observe what is going on. Observe with an objective eye devoid of subjective filters. Ask another adult to observe the same situation and then compare observations. With a challenging situation, pledge to observe for a week without making an inference. What might you learn?

• Grace and courtesy, grace and courtesy, grace and courtesy. Your lessons in grace and courtesy set the foundation for civilized behavior in your environment. Establish these one by one on a regular basis repeating where necessary. Remember we want to give the children strategies for what TO DO rather than reprimand them after the fact. Send me an e-mail at and I'll send you my Grace and Courtesy list that you can use or adapt to create your own list.

• Montessori is a work of restraint. We don’t get to say or do just anything we feel. Observe more, listen more, speak and act less. Model the behavior you want children to imprint and adults to emulate.

•Take a few minutes before rushing in to intervene in a situation (unless safety is at risk). When you do intervene, state the infraction in a factual manner, then state the grace and courtesy rule, e.g. “I noticed that you walked across Nathan’s rug; what is the ground rule in our classroom about walking on rugs?” Or simply walk slowly over to the situation and without giving eye contact just stand near. Remember that you bring the order with you by your demeanor.

• Renew your professional credentials: Observe a master Montessorian. Take a class, go to a workshop or conference or even a webinar. Investigate some of the latest findings in child development and brain research. Re-read Dr. Montessori, especially chapters 26-28 in The Absorbent Mind.

• Refer to your Personal Inventory to stay conscious in all your actions:

What do I do to prepare myself mentally and emotionally (or what will I start doing) to begin each day with the children?

What personal habits do I have that contribute to my being an obstacle to the child?

What personal practices do I have that allow me to focus inward?

Where am I in awareness of my pride? Anger?

How do I bring silence and/or nature into my life and how often?

What creative activities do I engage in?

• Commence a critical analysis of your language usage. Slang? They are not kids, kiddos, you guys, or munchkins; they are children. Directional vs. conversational? How much of your verbal communication with the children is directional vs. how much is conversational and naming the universe for them? Dare to record your language patterns for a few days or have a colleague give you feedback. Remember that for children of this age, language is literal as they seek to grasp the semi-abstract representation (language) for the concrete object or affect.

• With your colleagues, pledge to eliminate gossip. Do not triangulate. Be clear in your communication. Take personal responsibility for all your communication. Confront with respect if you want to enhance the relationship. Be objective.

• Honor the professional calling that is the hallmark of the Montessorian. Ask yourself if what you are doing here is a job or a profession? If you are burning out, it’s time to either renew and go deeper and make a new decision.

• Sing every day.

Donohue Shortridge conducts staff development sessions and parent night talks at Montessori schools in Colorado and around the country.


Directors' Network Meetings

Thursday, February 20, 2014 
Time: 1:00 PM
Host: Montessori School of Aurora
SpeakerP. Donohue Shortridge
Topic"How to Retain 3rd Year Students"
Cost: None
Location:18585 E Smoky Hill Rd, Centennial, CO 80015
Additional:  Attendees should bring an electronic device that allows them to connect to the internet

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!

Future Director's Meeting Calendar for Spring 2014:
2014 Rocky Mountain Early Childhood Conference
March 14-15, 2014
Host: ECEA (Early Childhood Education Association of Colorado), CAEYC (Colorado Association for the Education of Young Children) and DPP (Denver Preschool Program)
Topic:  Click here for workshops.  Click here for keynote speakers.
Location:  Colorado Convention Center
Registration: Click here to register now (Registration opens December 6th).
Call for Presenters - 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.
Letter From the President...

February 2014


Hello fellow Colorado Montessorians!

I want to share what it feels like to work with the CMA board. There are eight of us, all volunteers. Some of us know the Montessori private school world well, and others the public and charter Montessori world. We have board members involved in training programs, and others who serve as experienced substitute teachers or consultants. We meet together once a month, and between meetings communicate via emails, phone calls, and visits. We’re a hard-working, dedicated group, yet we have our limits. There is never enough time. Our frustration level as we lay the foundations for CMA can get high, but this is a seasoned group of problem solvers, so together we identify problems and roll up our sleeves.


We could use help! Colorado Montessori Association is not an organization of eight people sitting around a table solving problems. What would be the point?


As we reach out for involvement from our members right now, we have some specific needs.


  • We need someone with technology skills who can help us evaluate the best ways to manage our website, and build and manage our membership database.


  • We need members to help us moderate our soon to be available online forums.


  • We need members who can help us get to know and support schools in the mountains and plains beyond the Front Range.


  • We are eager for newsletter articles and photos of your programs.


  • We need to know about your school events that are open to the public so we can put them on the CMA calendar on our website.


If you are interested in becoming more involved in the Colorado Montessori community, please contact us! Your help will be greatly appreciated.


Ways to contact us:


Kathryn Ross, President:

Rachel Averch, Secretary:

Kathryn Ross



                         TEACHER TIP - FEBRUARY

 Beliefs, Behaviors and Experiences

By: Rachel Averch

Beliefs shape behavior. Behavior creates experiences. Experiences shape beliefs. What a powerful thing. So clearly, in order to change a behavior that isn't serving us, we must first challenge the underlying beliefs.

Much easier said than done, of course. A child who believes she is unlike-able or that everyone is against her is holding that belief in response to experiences she has already had with others. When she engages in demanding or aggressive behaviors, she does so because she believes that this is who she is. When we respond in a typical reactive way, with frustration, reprimands or disapproval, we only reinforce her belief.  In essence, we are strengthening the very behaviors we want to change.

So how do we change things?  Is it an impossible task? Absolutely not. But, it isn't easy either. To change things, we must first question our own beliefs about the child and her motivations and make a choice to hold a more desirable belief about that child that will inform and shape our own behaviors toward her. 

Intentionally focusing on holding beliefs that reinforce responding to the child in a more effective way makes our responses more natural and authentic, rather than following some prescribed formula for what to do that we read about in a book and that feels contrived to the child.  Best of all, these natural and authentic responses that flow from our new beliefs also create experiences for the child that will challenge her mistaken beliefs about herself and the people around her, ultimately supporting a change in the less desirable behaviors to more positive ones.

How shocking for that child to hear a parent or teacher to respond with compassion instead of anger, to hold them accountable with firm but loving expectations and natural consequences instead of harsh words, judgments and reprimands. Over time, experiences like these will help the child to question the original mistaken beliefs that she held and to form new beliefs that better support her success.

I recommend trying this in any area of your life where you are finding yourself frustrated by a challenging relationship. Evaluate your own beliefs about that person and their misguided behaviors, and try on new beliefs instead. Then watch the magic that gradually unfolds as your own newly formed beliefs lay the path for new behaviors of your own which will begin to create new and unexpected experiences for both of you.

Submitted by:

Rachel Averch
Montessori Children's House of Denver

Get Involved with CMA... 
Speakers Needed
  • 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.
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!
CMA and David Kahn

By RB Fast

This article originally appeared on RB Fast's blog vegucationmama

In December, the Colorado Montessori Association brought one of the most significant influences in the Montessori world, David Kahn, to speak to the Denver Montessori community in a presentation on using Montessori education as a tool for social reform. In a vibrant, engaging, and often funny lecture the audience was led on a journey through history and around the world. He shared the history of Montessori education as an equalizing tool for challenged citizens in countries on six continents starting with the legendary Casa dei Bambini in a slum in Rome in the early 1900′s.

The audience was engaged in a discussion regarding vulnerability and personal responsibility. David said that he believes that there is a major change coming to education and that Montessori will be a part of the reformation. This, of course, is only possible if educators from within our curriculum actively engage in public education and advocacy efforts. Montessori has an unfortunate reputation of only being for rich people and we know that this is simply not the case. The Upendo Montessori School in Tanzania and the Family Star Montessori Early Head Start program in Denver, CO are both spectacular examples of this.

At the end of the event, the audience was treated to a short movie showing the incredible work Children’s Eternal Rainforest in Costa Rica. This rainforest is a roughly 55,000 acre swath of pure rainforest that is one of the longest running ecosystems on Earth, as Costa Rica did not experience an ice age. The children at a Montessori school in Sweden raised money through bake sales to make the initial purchase of the land. In the video Mr. Kahn showed, high school students from a Montessori high school in the US were there studying the forest and researching topics of interest to them.

Listening to David Kahn speak left me hopeful that we can affect change that brings equity in awareness about and access to great Montessori education for families from a variety of communities, cultures, and socioeconomic statuses. Each and every one of has a responsibility to engage with our communities and do what we can to ensure that an excellent Montessori education is available to every family that wants it. 

Through events such as this and advocacy efforts the Colorado Montessori Association is certainly doing their part.


Heads 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 Children's House of Denver
Denver, CO
Start Date: July 2014
Position Description
The Montessori Children's House of Denver is now accepting applications as it begins its search for a committed and passionate Montessori leader to fulfill the role of Executive Director, taking the reigns as our current Executive Director of 10 years prepares for her retirement. The current Executive Director will be working an altered schedule during the 2014-2015 school year to support the incoming leader's transition into the MCHD community.

The Executive Director oversees all school operations and leads the school community in the implementation of the Montessori philosophy and MCHD's Vision Statement. 

To learn more about this opportunity, please visit our website:

For more information about MCHD, visit our website:
Please email or fax completed application and resume to Rachel Averch, President: 
Email:   Fax: 303-355-8629  Phone: 303-322-8324 x 132

Fort Collins Montessori School
Fort Collins, CO

Start Date: June 2014

Position Description

The Head of School is the chief operating officer appointed by the Board of Directors to administrate the school’s mission and operating policy. Working closely with the Board, the Head of School fosters the vision for the school and implements the strategic plan. He/she is an educational director who provides day-to-day educational leadership for the school while also supervising faculty and staff and administering policies established by the Board. The Head of School serves as a non-voting member of the Governing Board of Directors and serves on Board committees as assigned by the Board. The Head of School will create and maintain a positive culture and climate within the school, be able to work with students and parents in a trusting relationship, and support teachers as they implement Montessori education.

Fort Collins is a university town (Colorado State University) on the Front Range, with access to world-class skiing within 100 miles, and hiking and camping in the beautiful Rocky Mountains and Poudre Canyon a short drive away. Our community has been consistently ranked in the top ten most livable cities, Best Places to retire, most Bike-Friendly, and Best Place for Employment. We have 300 days of sunshine a year, with an active population and many family-friendly activities. We are situated 63 miles north of Denver and 40 miles east of Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park.

To learn more about this opportunity, interested candidates should contact
Lead Teachers 
The Montessori Academy of Colorado
Denver, CO
Start Date: June 2014
Position Description

The Montessori Academy of Colorado is seeking a 0-3 trained teacher to work in our toddler community for the summer of 2014. We have a lead teacher who will be out on maternity leave and we are seeking an interim lead to fill the position temporarily. We will offer competitive pay and a truly enjoyable working atmosphere.

For more information about The Montessori Academy of Colorado, please contact Executive Director, Nancy James, at with a resume and cover letter.

Montessori Children's House of Denver
Denver, CO
Start Date: August 2014
Position Description
MCHD is currently accepting and reviewing applications for Lead Teachers at all levels in preparation for the 2014-2015 School Year.  Apply now for an opportunity to work within the MCHD community.
Position Requirements
Montessori Certification through an accredited teacher training program
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: 
Email:   Fax: 303-355-8629  Phone: 303-322-8324 x 121

Administrative Assistants
The Montessori Institute

Denver, CO
Start Date: June 2014

Position Description
The Montessori Institute. Part-time administrative assistant needed. AMI training at any level and MAC skills preferred. Contact us for more information.
Position Requirements
AMI Training at any level
MAC skills preferred 

For more information about The Montessori Institute, visit the website:
Please email or fax completed application and resume to Karey Lontz: 
Email:   Phone: 303-832-6781
Address: 700 Knox Ct., Denver, CO 80204

Administrator Available

Montessori trained administrator seeks a new opportunity to support and develop a school in the greater Denver area.  Extensive public and private school administrative experience with current Colorado public school principal certification.  Please contact me at for more information.

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.
Paint Chip Hearts
from: Pinterest  and Julie Ann Art


Stained Glass Hearts
from: Pinterest and
Our Small-Town Idaho Life

 Cool!! It's alive! One of the coolest science experiments ever!- cornstarch and water mixture moves to sound

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
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.

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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Edited by: Rose Henson