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.

  This will be the final FULL newsletter mailed out to non-members.   If you would like  to continue to receive the full newsletter, please RENEW or JOIN now!
Spring is Here:  How Will the Children Know?
P. Donohue Shortridge
The child who has felt a strong love for his surroundings
and for all living creatures, who has discovered joy and
enthusiasm in work, gives us reason to hope
that humanity can develop in a new direction.
M.M.  Education and Peace, p. 58
Author’s note:  in respect for space constraints of this newsletter, this is a condensed version of the full article. Here is the pdf of the expanded version.
Feel free to print it.
Montessorians understand that children cannot feel a strong love for their surroundings without a concrete exposure to them.  Daily visceral experiences beget knowledge, which begets joy, which begets love. 
Here are some suggestions, some enticements to awaken their discovery and focus their attention:
•  Look out the window of your classroom. Make a statement about what you see and then pose a question without giving an answer: “Oh look, there is the robin making her nest. I wonder what materials she is using?”
• Extend the distance of the toddler walk.  Stop and smell the air and the awakening flora.  Look up for nests and down for tracks.
• Know and name all the trees, bushes, flowers, plants and animals on your campus as well as on your walks in the neighborhood.  As Montessorian Nimal Vaz says, “The adult is to be the intelligent guide.” We don’t preach or teach, but rather notice, name and ponder. “I wonder if there are any new buds on the Hawthornes?”  Older children could make name cards for the trees, do leaf rubbings and match to the botany cabinet.  They could measure and chart the growth of the leaf.  You could do a same-and-different game with trees, bushes and plantings.  “How many trees just like this one do you see?” or “Find all the bushes that have leaves just like these.”
•  Dirt digging and dirt transfer on the playground.  Wheelbarrows, shovels, trowels, sifters and buckets, yes. Add water if you dare!  Mud matters.
• Flower arranging using real flowers.  The children will associate the flowers they see, touch and arrange with what they notice in gardens.  Find a free or discounted source for daffodils, tulips and other spring flowers. (Ask your local grocery store floral manager to save her about-to-be-thrown-away flowers for you; also funeral homes and florists.  Perhaps ask a parent to take this on.)
• Refresh your nature shelf and also put items from nature in various spots around your classroom, e.g. an interesting piece of bark set out on a one-person table.
• Break some regulations and get pets into your environment.  Have visiting pets at the least.  Don’t forget the invertebrates, e.g. snails, worms and spiders.
•  Get outside yourself, observe closely, then be sure to come back to the classroom to tell the children what you saw.  “Yesterday, when I was on a walk in my neighborhood, I saw . . .” Be sure that your language reflects your awe and wonder at life around you. The children will rightly believe you are referring to them.
P. Donohue Shortridge is a Montessori consultant, conducting staff development sessions and parent night talks.  She is also the creator of the DVD, Aidan’s Muddy Adventure, illustrating to parents the ease with which the young child adapts to his natural surroundings. Visit her website at
Directors' Network Meetings
Thursday, April 17, 2014 
Time: 1:00 PM
Host: Mountain Shadows Montessori School
SpeakerP. Donohue Shortridge
Topic"Bully Prevention"
Cost: None
Location: 4154 63rd St. Boulder, CO 80301

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!
  • Stay tuned for more information about an opportunity to hear Dr. Steven Hughes speak at Family Star on May 13.  CMA members will receive a discounted rate for this talk.  Details will be shared on our website and Facebook page, and members will receive an invitation to this event. 
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...
April 2014

Dear CMA Members and Friends,

I just pulled off my garden gloves, tossed then down, and headed for my computer thinking about the Colorado Montessori Association.  
Like a garden, an organization could be seen as a living organism.  It grows.  It needs nurturance. Sometimes it receives unexpected sunshine and just the right amount of rain, and other times it’s buffeted by cold winds or buried under snow.  Unexpected visitors show up.  There are parties to celebrate the growth and serious conversations to make decisions.  Borrowing from the permaculture school of gardening, diversity is valued, so those parties and conversations are lively.  If the caretakers of the garden are wise, its soil is rich and deep. All of those qualities describe the Colorado Montessori Association.
We have had our share of both storms and sunshine.  Let me share some of them with you.
The Storms:
          It took us a long time to get our website functional and many of you have experienced challenges renewing your membership or becoming new members.  All of that is behind us, and our site is fully functional and waiting for you!  Please visit to join or renew your membership. If you are a returning member and have forgotten your username or password, contact us at for help. 
          We are waiting for our final non-profit 501(c)3 status from the IRS.  All our paperwork has been submitted so we simply wait!
The Sunshine:
          There are three forums in the For Members section of our website –           Administrator, Private Schools, and Public Schools.  If you are a logged CMA           member, you are invited to help us create topics and join ensuing conversations within those forums.  Anyone is welcome to participate in any of them. 
          Unexpected opportunities to collaborate with various schools and Montessori organizations continue to appear for us.  Watch for a talk by Dr. Steven Hughes on May 13 in collaboration with Family Star, and an opportunity to view a series of Public School Montessori Leadership Webinars presented by AMS and the National Center for Montessori in the Public Sector that will be available on three evenings in May at MECR. If your school is considering such an event, we are interested in talking to you about the possibility of co-hosting. 
          An unexpected visitor to our “garden” came from Martha Teien, who is the           director of Mountain Montessori in Avon.  She is interested in helping CMA reach out to schools at a distance from the Front Range.  We are excited about that possibility and welcome Martha’s help.  If you are from a mountain or plains           school, watch for a survey from Martha about your needs and wants. 
There is more to share, so keep an eye on our website and Facebook page for information about upcoming events and ways you can be more involved.  Our work is important, so pick up those gloves and meet us in the garden!
Kathryn Ross
President CMA


                         TEACHER TIP - APRIL

 Chosen By Montessori
By: Illyce Kaarto
“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
As I pondered what to write about for this article, my husband meanderingly suggested, “Why don’t you write about the idea that you don’t choose Montessori, it chooses you?”  As I fell asleep, I mused on his thought.
Do you ever wonder about this?  Do we choose Montessori or does it choose us? Is it just who we are? Does it come from deep inside us?  Is it our calling?  And...why?  
What joy might we feel in the course of just one day experiencing Montessori?  We might awaken energized with the hope of sharing a lesson we had suddenly envisioned revealing joy and concentration in a child.  We might arrive at our classrooms full of excitement about what adventures the children will show us that day.  We spend our day observing our children’s inherent goodness, and feel fortunate that we are true witness to the fact that the world is going to be just fine because our children are pure embodiments of peace and love.   As we fall asleep that evening, we might be permeated by an awestruck feeling that we have been so fortunately gifted by our children that day We might truly marvel at all we have learned from them.    
“Our souls can be filled up by the children,” a very wise woman I know often reminds me.  A very inspiring Montessori friend and I happily exchange stories of “what wonderful things sprung from your children today?” at the end of each day.   What a gift we have in all being together in Montessori this way, to all have chosen Montessori. Or has it chosen us?
Alternatively, great and looming might feel the challenges we face.  We wonder sincerely about our connections with the children.  We ruminate about our lessons being inviting enough.  Because of our deep resonance with the souls of our children, we acutely feel their sadder feelings and thus, our hearts often break.  Yet, isn’t it possible that even this heartbreak is a part of the gift?  A part of being chosen by Montessori?  
But, why?
When we ask that question, what emerges from our hearts?  How can we cherish what the children so freely gift us with - their peace, their love, and even their sadness - and invite it all to live forever within us warming our very souls?  
As my husband queries and my dear Montessori friend so astutely observes, perhaps we don’t have a choice...perhaps Montessori chose us.

How unbelievably fortunate are we?

Colorado Education Update

CBS 4 in Denver did a piece on the CCAP reform efforts here in Colorado. CMA is supporting this reform. Take a look!
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. 
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). 
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!

Heads of School

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 the position listing details on our website: Executive Director Position Brochure

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

The Children's Kiva
Cortez, CO

Start Date: School Slated to Open in September 2014

Position Description

The Children's Kiva Montessori Charter School is now accepting applications for an Executive Director. The school is slated to begin operations in September 2014.

Please direct questions and resumes to:


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

DCS Montessori

Castle Pines, CO

Start Date:August 2014
Position Description
DCS Montessori is a public, charter Montessori school located just 30 minutes south of Denver.  Our school serves 500 students from 3 years old to 8th grade.  We are accepting applications for Montessori trained and certified teachers and educational assistants for the 2014-2015 school year.  We offer excellent salaried, great benefits and a warm, cooperative school environment.

Visit to learn more about these jobs and our application process.

St. Vrain Community Montessori School
Longmont, CO
Start Date: August 2014
Position Description
Dedicated to bringing authentic Montessori education to our students as they move into adolescence, St. Vrain Community Montessori School (SVCMS) seeks a Lead Guide to direct the development of its new middle school program.  We are a community committed to fostering collaborative relationships to build an authentic Montessori Secondary Program in our public, charter school setting. 
SVCMS is 16 miles North of Boulder and 37 miles North of Denver in Longmont, CO.  Since opening its doors in 2009, the school has enjoyed strong and committed faculty and parent communities.  The school’s mission is to educate the Whole Child within an authentic Montessori program in a public, charter school.  It serves roughly 200 students in PK-6th grades.

Position Requirements
Our ideal candidate will bring a diverse skill set, including Highly Qualified status in either the Humanities or Math (or willingness to sit for the Colorado PLACE or Praxis exam for Secondary content mastery), experience working with adolescents, an ability to think creatively in terms of program and curriculum design, adaptability, and proven ability to inspire others to work toward a shared vision.  Knowledge of and experience with Montessori Math materials and lessons is highly valued.  Montessori secondary training also highly valued.

Please send resume and references to Katie Torres, Head of School at

Escuela Tlatelolco
Denver, CO
Start Date: June 2014
Position Descriptions
Special Education Teacher (K – 12th)
Seeking a Special Education teacher for our unique preK-12 school.  Successful candidates will be proven team players, energetic, passionate, creative and patient.  Escuela operates a full-inclusion model in which students of all abilities are educated in the classroom.
Montessori Upper Elementary Teacher: Grades 4-6 (Full-Time)
As part of Escuela’s Educational Team, the Teacher performs a variety of duties in the areas of instruction, general administration, student parent, and community relations, and activities, all of which are designed to support the Educational Team in the supervision and administration of Escuela and its programs. Differentiate instruction and environment in response to the changing needs of the learners.  Provide student academic and social growth/development support through observation, data collection/analysis, and consistent communication with student/family. 

Position Requirements
Our teachers must hold a Bachelor’s degree and for the Elementary position have Montessori certification by an accredited program or willingness to become certified , pass the PLACE or Praxis II exam prior to employment, and have a Colorado teaching license.  Successful candidates will bring a minimum of 3 years of teaching, 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.  We are currently accepting letters of interest and resumes for the 2014-15 school year. Bilingual candidates preferred. 

Interested candidates should email a letter of interest, resume and 3 professional references to Rudionna Garza, Dean of Curriculum, Instruction & ELL at

North Fork Community Montessori School
Hotchkiss, CO
Start Date: June 2014
Position Description
Motivated Primary, Lower and Upper Elementary Teachers wanted.   First time offer to teach at our expanding public Montessori school in the beautiful North Fork valley of western Colorado.    Our valley offers beautiful vistas, a wonderful outdoor lifestyle, and numerous organic farms.  NFCMS has received multiple academic awards from the Colorado Department of Education.  We will be a School of Innovation committed to Montessori principles, but adaptable to the Common Core.  AMI Head of School.

Send resumes to, or call (970) 872-5910.

Full-Time Substitutes
The Montessori Academy of Colorado
Denver, CO
Start Date: June 2014
Position Description

Located just north of downtown Denver, the Montessori Academy of Colorado is a nonprofit Preschool and Elementary dedicated to nurturing the potential of each child we serve, ages 8 weeks through First Grade.  This summer June-August, we have full-time substitute teaching positions in our Nido, Toddler, and Primary communities.  Please visit our website for more details on the positions and other full-time employment opportunities at MAC. 

If you’d like to apply, please send a cover letter and résumé to Amanda Herman via email or fax to 303-623-2611.  


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.

Flower Arranging in Black Beans
from: Pinterest and
Chasing Cheerios
 Black bean/ flower arranging sensory tub (and a great indoor alternative to the sandbox on a rainy/snowy day!)
Nest Making Tray
From Pinterest and The Kavanaugh Report
LOVE this nest making tray! Would go well with a spring unit or any book about birds.
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