Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Raintree Montessori School - Lawrence, Kansas
I had the great pleasure of visiting Raintree Montessori School in Lawrence, Kansas this past Monday. I was hired to give an in-house workshop for the teachers, something which I am doing more and more of now. I must confess that I love this work. It allows me the opportunity to engage in the Montessori community at large, to visit classrooms (I love seeing the "found objects" that teachers add to material trays making each so uniquely beautiful), and to engage in conversations with so many of my fellow teachers and heads of school.
Raintreee Montessori is a very large school with extended grounds. You may read more about it here: http://www.raintreemontessori.org/
I hope to return to the school another time in the spring or fall when I may walk around this amazing place and take in all that it is. And it is pretty amazing!
Here is a survey of photos. There are many as I wanted to share them all.
Above: "The Scented Garden." The elementary buildings are to the left.
Below: A winter scene of the grounds behind the school as viewed from one of the Primary classrooms
Below: This wonderful collection of state spoons is a polishing material.
Below: After I gave an almost three hour talk to the thirty or so teachers, I asked them to get into small groups (toddler, primary and elementary teachers worked together.) Each group selected two or three materials - each from a different area of the room - and then found overlapping/shared values in regards to design and use. It was wonderful to witness them working with the materials and finding their own aha! moments. After 30 minutes or so, each group shared their "discoveries" with me and the other teachers. It was amazing!
Below: I pulled back my hair and sat down amongst the teachers to observe their work.
Below: Heather McReynolds-Eichhorn assists in running the school as her parents founded Raintree and continue to run it. She was a generous and welcoming hostess. Below: A picture of Heather and I just before sitting down to a delicious all-staff lunch -