Don't miss David Kahn December 4th!
See Upcoming Community Events Section below for details.
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.
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!  

If you aren't already a member, click here to sign up now.  If you are a member, membership renewals happen with the new year, so don't forget to renew before January 1st, 2014.

Authentic Montessori through Faithful Teachers 

By Rose Henson

As a teacher, I possess the ability to walk into any classroom and identify the players – the problem child, the class clown, the people pleaser. That one over there with the gaggle of attendant girls is the queen bee. The one picking up the other children's abandoned work is the teacher's pet. These are labels that I’ve carried with me since childhood. Looking back I can find these characters among the children I grew up with.  If I look back honestly, I could even tell which one I was (and in some ways, still am). As a young child faced with the tasks of learning to read social cues, operate within a community, and infer the needs and desires of all the other people around me, my mind correlated certain important details and created categories. Class clown: outgoing, funny, happy, not the most dedicated scholar, confident, lots of friends, etc. It was useful. It served its purpose. But in the best interest of my students, I am desperately trying to dismantle this lens and let these categories go.

The problem with sizing up a room of actual human beings with these labels is that they are too limited to encompass the full, delightful, messy, quirkiness that actually exists within every person. The problem with these labels is that they are wrong. I have learned this as I learn most everything--with time, experience and observation. As I grew up I came to realize that many of the happy-go-lucky class clowns that I knew as a child, were actually hiding insecurity and pain behind their jokes. The problem child had depths of empathy and compassion left unnoticed by those around him. The people pleaser had a long history of hidden rebellions that came to light as she got older.

And not only are these labels wrong, they are actually dangerous. Language is powerful in that it shapes the way we perceive the world around us. So when I walk into a classroom and my mind leaps to label and identify (and thus organize) this little group of people, I have to stop, breathe and remind myself to start fresh.  Because these labels subtly affect the expectations we have for a child and the way we respond to them.  The other day I observed a little boy who could easily be categorized as a “trouble-maker” snatching a block out of the hands of a little girl who was building a tower.  My first reaction was to think, “At it again.  Causing trouble.”  But choosing instead to give him a blank slate, I wondered what his motivation could be.  He is a young toddler, without much language, so I asked him “Are you trying to play with her?”  His eyes lit up and he tapped his chest saying, “Play!”  I told the little girl, “Xavier wants to play with you.  Can he help you build?”  A moment later they were happily collaborating on a tower.  By denying my urge to pigeon-hole this child, I was able to see him as he really was.

Fighting our urge to categorize is hard.  It takes constant practice.  But when we choose to throw out these labels and observe children as they are, we are rewarded with a view of all of our spectacularly complicated humanness.

Article Submitted By: Rose Henson, Children's Garden Montessori

David Kahn
Montessori as Social Reform: Peace and Wholeness Through Education
Friday, December 4, 2013
Time: 5:30-7:00 PM
Host: Colorado Montessori Association
Topic:  David Kahn discusses why Montessori Education heals social ills, and then subsequently builds character and social interest in making a contribution to the world. Why does Montessori succeed in making better human being is the worst of human condition since its inception?
Cost:  $10 for members, $20 for non-members, $40 for membership ($35 value) + event *RSVP TO EVITE; REGISTRATION AND PAYMENT AT THE DOOR*
Location:  MAC; 2500 Curtis Street Denver 80205
Directors' Network Meetings

Thursday, January 16, 2014 
Time: 1:00 PM
Host: ECEA (Early Childhood Education Association of Colorado)
Speaker:  Kathryn Hammerbeck
Topic:  Funding legislation, QRIS, CDHS
Cost: None
Location:  1120 Lincoln Street #203, Denver CO 80203

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!

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).

Letter From the President...
December 2013

Dear CMA Members,

Colorado Montessori Association is a membership organization with the aim of giving Montessori a powerful voice in Colorado. We work to provide a forum that supports networking and professional growth in the Colorado Montessori community. We strive to be a highly functional organization, unified in its vision, respectful, purposeful and inclusive.

Those words come directly from the CMA Mission Statement. None of our goals are easy, yet we see progress. We also see challenges in the form of issues that will impact our schools. Among them - T-QRIS; Common Core Standards; and revised CHDS rules and regulations. Education is not an issue without passion or regulation. We want to share our passion appropriately, focusing our message to be sure regulators know what Montessori education has to offer.  

Which is why I ask you to partner with us – the Colorado Montessori Association – to help educate yourself and your schools about issues that surely will impact us all.  

Why do we need your membership and your involvement?  

First, our numbers give Montessori schools a stronger voice. We currently have approximately 375 individual members in our organization, as well as 14 founding schools and 2 founding Montessori consulting organizations. Legislators and governmental agencies will listen when we speak. Having deep involvement from Montessori educators across the state enables us to represent you well.

Second, your membership fees have given us a small but stable budget that has allowed us to host two CMA Meet and Greet events at RAFT in Denver and bring the following speakers into the Denver area: Dee Coulter, Jackle Cossentino, Tim Seldin, Phil Gang, and David Kahn.

December and January are membership months for CMA. Please consider visiting our website to join us or renew your membership.


Kathryn Ross
President, CMA


Love Lights

Winter is upon us, bringing with it a season for celebrating festivals of light in many cultures around the world. With the drastically shortening days, it is a hopeful and joyous thing to see all of the festive lights at this time of year. It is also a time of year when our focus shifts from what we can achieve to what we can give, and more importantly to peace in our relationships with others.

This time of year, with the focus on both light and on peace, brings to mind one of my favorite lessons for the children. The lesson of the "Love Light". When I was in my training at MECR, Sonnie McFarland taught Peace Education (for those of you who don't know Sonnie, she was awarded the 2011 AMS Living Legacy Award).  I vividly remember sitting out underneath a tree along with the rest of my MECR class holding flashlights and layers of tissue paper as Sonnie told us about the Love Light in every child.

Each child, she said, has a love light. For some, it already shines bright, and for some it is covered with layers. The tissue paper represented the layers. The layers might be shame or negative self-talk, for example, and those layers are hiding the true light within the child.

In order for the child to discover his or her love light and to let it shine brightly, the teacher (and any adult in the child's life) has a role to play. It is our job to see past a child's misguided behaviors, supporting the child gently and lovingly, and to help remove the layers that are interfering with the light so that the true nature of the child (which is his or her "love light") can shine through. 

This winter season, as the light of the day grows shorter, brighten it back up by working to bring out each child's love light and by teaching peace in this beautiful way. Check out Sonnie's book: Honoring the Light of the Child: Activities to Nurture Peaceful Living Skills in Young Children.
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!
Building the Pink Tower
How can your organization be a part of Building the Pink Tower?

Through our Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, everyone who has ever been touched by Montessori education can be a part of telling this story. Your network of Montessori educators and supporters has a message to share with the rest of the world: the Montessori model has the power to change education. With their experience in Montessori learning environments and with communities of children eager to learn, they know more than anyone what Montessori can do.

Spread the word and help your members honor their schools and communities by supporting this documentary film project (and be listed in the film credits for gifts of $100 or more). All Indiegogo donations will help us leverage at least $20,000 in additional challenge grants.

Support this project. Spread the word. Education has a future.

Thank you!
Jan Selby & Vina Kay
Building the Pink Tower will be a documentary film that reimagines schools and learning through the lens of Montessori education. In a climate of concern and criticism about schools, Building the Pink Tower will remind us of what we want in education: eager learning, creative thinking, and collaborative work. The film will change the debate about education by showing how the 100-year-old Montessori method nurtures the imagination of children and lays a solid foundation for their success in life.

Food Allergy Management in Schools
From: SAFE (Supporting Allergic Families through Education)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published “Voluntary Guidelines for Managing Food Allergies In Schools and Early Care and Education Programs” – the first comprehensive national guidelines for school food allergy management. Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) collaborated with the CDC along with other groups on the development of these guidelines. The CDC guidelines seek to protect the physical and emotional health of students with food allergies by providing practical information and strategies for schools to use while reinforcing federal laws and regulations. These guidelines can help schools and early childhood programs improve existing practices and implement policies that may help reduce allergic reactions, improve response to life-threatening reactions and ensure current policies are in line with laws that protect children with serious health issues. (The CDC has also produced “Frequently Asked Questions” about the guidelines.)
As you also know, my husband and I have started a local food allergy support group called SAFE. Please let the other families at Mapleton who are dealing with food allergies know about our group (I am attaching a flyer to this email as well). On our website, we are listing 2 different school performances to increase allergy awareness and educate children about food allergies. I have included the information below, but please let me know if you would be interested in having one of these demonstrations at Mapleton Montessori.

Kyle Dine School Performance: April 2014
Kyle Dine is a Canadian performer, educator, and “Allergy Musician”. He has grown up managing his own food allergies and writes songs about food allergies to help empower, support and educate children. He performs allergy awareness shows for students in Kindergarten through Grade 8. For more information, check out his brochure. Kyle will be in Colorado April 7-11 2014, and we would love to have him perform for students in the Boulder area. If you are interested in booking Kyle to present at your school, check out hispage on booking an event and please contact us at so we can try to organize a performance!

Allergy Awareness School Demonstrations
Joni Severson is a food allergy mom who has done Allergy Awareness demonstrations for classes at a local Boulder elementary school. The session consists of two stations:  Allergy Awareness station and a Hand Washing station.  At the Allergy Awareness station, they talk about types of allergies, severity of allergies, symptoms of a reaction, what children can do if their friend is having symptoms, and they talk about compassion and understanding.  Then, they demonstrate the EpiPenÃ’ trainers, and each child gets to practice with a trainer themselves.  At the Hand Washing station, they use glow gel to represent germs and food residue.  The children get to use antibacterial sanitizer, wipes, and hand washing to learn whether or not the germs/food residue comes off their hands using the different cleaning methods.   At the end of the session, each child gets a PAL certificate. If you are interested in learning how to set up an Allergy Awareness demonstration for children at your local school, please email

Submitted by: Supporting Allergic Families through Education
Until there is a cure, education and awareness are key.

Head 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 Certified (Long Term) and ECT Qualified Substitutes

Montessori Children's House of Denver
Denver, CO
Start Date: November 2013 / January 2014

Position Description

MCHD is currently interviewing for both Montessori Certified and ECT Qualified Substitutes for the 2013-2014 School Year.  *We have both Montessori Certified Lead and ECT Qualified long term substitute teaching positions available covering planned extended leaves of absence.  Apply now for a great opportunity to work within the MCHD community.
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 MCHD, visit our website:
Please email or fax completed application and resume to 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.

Homemade Snow Globes
from: Pinterest and Six In The Suburbs Blog

Infant & Toddler Sensory Boards
from: Pinterest and


Color Strip Cutting
from: Pinterest and

Stay Put Button & Cork Builders
from: Pinterest and

Montessori Movement Activities
Pinterest and
Montessori Works Blog

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