Substitutes

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Desert Garden Montessori is seeking adaptable, dynamic individuals to substitute in our classrooms, ages infant through elementary.  If you are looking for experience in education, a holistic understanding of child development, and a supportive community to work in, you’ve found the right place!

Required: 1+ year of experience caring for children or working in a school setting and a basic understanding and desire to learn more about Montessori education and philosophy.  Commitment to working the full school year through May.  Must be 18 years or older.

To apply, fill out the Employee Application form.

For more information about the position, contact Kristen Hugins at 480-496-9833 or via email.

Hours: On call; flexible

Start date: ASAP

One on One Aide

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Desert Garden Montessori is seeking a patient, experienced one on one aide for a child in our primary program (ages 3-6).  If you are looking for a way to make a difference in the life of a child, a holistic understanding of child development, and a supportive community to work in, you’ve found the right place!

Required: 1+ year of one on one aide experience and a basic understanding and desire to learn more about Montessori education and philosophy.  Commitment to working the full school year through May.  Must be 18 years or older.

To apply, fill out the Employee Application form.

For more information about the position, contact Kristen Hugins at 480-496-9833 or via email.

Hours: Part time M-F, 8:00-11:00am

Start date: ASAP

Late Day Teacher Position

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Desert Garden Montessori is seeking dynamic individuals to provide after school care for children in our toddler, primary and elementary programs.  If you are looking for experience in education, a holistic understanding of child development, and a supportive community to work in, you’ve found the right place!

Required: 1+ year of experience caring for children and a basic understanding and desire to learn more about Montessori education and philosophy.  Commitment to working the full school year (August-May).  Must be 18 years or older.

To apply, fill out the Employee Application form.

For more information about the position, contact Kristen Hugins at 480-496-9833 or via email.

Hours: Part-time M-F, 2:30-6pm

Start date: July 30th,  2018

General Applicants

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We are always interested in candidates who have a passion for Montessori and working with children.  If you feel like Desert Garden Montessori would be a good home for you, please apply below.  We look forward to hearing from you.

What’s Wrong With Our Food System

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Dr. Paul Epstein Speaks At DGM

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DGM – An International Montessori Council (IMC) Accredited School!

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Dear Desert Garden Community,

As we continue our 15 year celebration of the school’s history, it is with incredible joy that I share with you the news that on March 3, 2014, Desert Garden Montessori (DGM) was officially approved as an International Montessori Council (IMC) accredited school!  Click here for the Powerpoint Presentation summary assembled by the accreditation team after their review process of DGM.

  • DGM is only the 7th Montessori school in the world to receive IMC accreditation
  • We are the 5th in the United States to receive accreditation.
  • DGM is the only IMC accredited school in the WORLD to serve infants through adolescents.

For more details on what it means to be certified and the entire certification process, please look below the certificate!

IMC Accreditation Certificate

The IMC (www.montessori.org) is a global organization of Montessori schools and communities. Its mission is to protect the vision and legacy of Dr. Maria Montessori and the Montessori Foundation by making policy designed to promote the essential principles of best practices and authentic Montessori education. Over 600 schools in 45 countries ascribe to the IMC as “members”, but only a small percentage of schools have attempted to become accredited, because the process is incredibly difficult.

DGM is only the 7th Montessori school in the world to receive IMC accreditation, and only the 5th in the United States. DGM is the only IMC accredited school in the world to serve infants through adolescents.

What does it mean to be “an accredited school”?

Being accredited means a Montessori school is worthy of public trust, is clear in what it says it offers and actually does what it says, and actually follows the criteria of authentic Montessori best practice.

From IMC’s website: “The primary purpose of the IMC accreditation program is to ensure best practices of Montessori leadership and education, and to evaluate the world’s most respected and successful Montessori schools. Schools that are authentically Montessori in their practice are effective in their work with children and are worthy of public trust and confidence. The Best Practices standards to achieve the title of “accredited” places particular emphasis on the administration of key aspects of school operation, particularly those related to the quality and integrity of the school’s educational program and the health and safety of students and staff members. Standards establish guidelines for policies, procedures, and practices in the school, and the schools is responsible for demonstrating that it implements those policies in a manner consistent with IMC standards on an ongoing basis.

A secondary purpose of the accreditation program is to provide the public with information that can assist them in selecting a school that meets internationally recognized standards of excellence in Montessori educational practice. Going through an accrediting process demonstrates to the public that a school has voluntarily permitted its programs, facilities, policies, and procedures to be evaluated against the Best Practice standards and to be re-evaluated every 10 years after achieving accreditation.”

How hard is it to become accredited?

The accreditation process involves putting together a team within the school community to conduct a “Self-Study” – carefully examining and evaluating every aspect of the school’s health according to 500+ pages of IMC standards, including educational program quality, instructional effectiveness, operational and financial health, facilities and site utilization, and future growth potential.

  • March 2012: A team of DGM teachers, parents, and administrative staff started working on the Self-Study, all while maintaining their regular lives, jobs, and families. The team met regularly, writing, writing, writing, ways DGM met and exceeded IMC standards. In places where DGM did not meet standards or a particular policy was not yet in place, improvements were made and policies updated.
  • December 2013: The team submitted over 800 pages of text comprising the Self-Study and more than 400 pages of Appendices with outlined policies and procedures.
  • January 2014: IMC sent expert Montessori administrators to DGM to assess the school and get a true feel for the community.
  • March 2014: IMC approved DGM’s accreditation!

On top of the work put in to the accrediting process, schools applying for accreditation must pay an application fee of $5 per enrolled student and must pay every expense of the on-site visit, including airfare, accommodations, some meals, and transportation.

With all of this required to achieve accreditation, you can see why not many schools try it and only 7 schools in the world have become accredited schools!

What feedback did we receive?

Thank you to everyone who worked tirelessly to make the site-team’s visit an outstanding experience. The site-team took detailed artifacts of the visit, including photos, stories, facts, notes, and impressions. In general, the site-team agreed with our Self-Study that we met or exceeded almost every standard! Attached is the Summary of Major Strengths from their formal evaluation, presented to the IMC review board (some quotes below):

“…a tight knit community of faculty, staff, students, and parents. … Over and over one hears the use of this term [village] by parents, faculty, and staff, and they truly live it out. Stories abound throughout the school of how they support and nurture each other through good times and bad. The longevity of both the families and the faculty are testimony to the strength of the community and leadership of its founder.”

“A culture of kindness and ‘mindfulness’ abounds and permeates each classroom, office, and meeting place.”

“The [Infant Nido] environment boasts a truly authentic Montessori approach to infant care and the faculty and staff are dedicated to that philosophy. The infants are amazingly independent….”

“…most importantly, [DGM] has the vision and leadership of its founder who has dedicated herself to creating a truly remarkable school. … The leadership of the school is clearly what forms and informs the essence of this outstanding place.”

Looking forward to hearing from you, let me know if you have any thoughts or questions.

Shetal Walters
Executive Director, DGM

Harvard Business Review Blog Network

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Montessori Builds Innovators

(click here for link to actual post)

by Andrew McAfee | 9:56 AM July 25, 2011

There are strident disagreements these days over every aspect of American educational policy, except for one. Everyone thinks it would be great if we could better teach students how to innovate.

So shouldn’t we be paying a great deal of attention to the educational method that produced, among others, Larry Page, Sergei Brin, Jeff Bezos, Jimmy Wales, Peter Drucker, Julia Child, David Blaine, and Sean “P. Diddy” Combs? They were all students in Montessori schools. According to a Wall Street Journal article by Peter Sims, there’s a “Montessori Mafia” among the creative elite. So maybe there’s something to the method Italian physician Maria Montessori came up with around the turn of the 20th century.

The cornerstones of this method, according to Wales’s brainchild Wikipedia, are:
• mixed-age classrooms, with classrooms for children aged 2½-or-3 to 6 by far the most common,
• student choice of activity from within a prescribed range of options,
• uninterrupted blocks of work time,
• a Constructivist or “discovery” model, in which students learn concepts from working with materials, rather than by direct instruction, and
• specialized educational materials developed by Montessori and her collaborators.

That list rings true to me. I was a Montessori student in northwestern Indiana from a very early age through third grade, which was as high as the school went at that time. The teachers were an earnest group of the biggest hippies that could be found in small-town Hoosierland in the 1970s, and they gave us a lot of room to explore stuff that we found interesting.

For me this included the beads Maria and her colleagues came up with to teach us about numbers. No matter how young you are, after you see five beads on a wire next to 25 arranged in a square and 125 in a cube, you have a grasp of 5^2 and 5^3 that doesn’t leave you. And after you hold the five-cube in one hand and the ten-cube in another, the power of taking something to the third power becomes very real. One is eight times as heavy as the other!

The parents of Larry, Sergei, Jimmy, Jeff, and all the others gave their kids good genes and nurtured them in many other ways beyond sending them to Montessori (I know that’s true in my case). But research indicates that Montessori methods work even for disadvantaged kids who are randomly selected to attend (although this might not be the best idea for dental school). And as far as I can tell from my quick glance at the studies, Montessori kids don’t do worse than their more classically educated peers on standardized tests. So why do we spend so much time on rote learning and teaching to the test?

When I got too old for my Montessori school and went to public school in fourth grade, I felt like I’d been sent to the Gulag. I have to sit in this desk? All day? We’re going to divide the day into hour-long chunks and do only one thing during each chunk? Am I on Candid Camera? Am I Job?

I’m really glad to learn that Montessori methods are entering public schools. And I look forward to more research on the benefits and drawbacks of this educational approach. Until it convinces me otherwise, I’m going to continue to believe in Montessori and recommend it to parents.

The main thing I learned there is that the world is a really interesting place, and one that should be explored. Can there be any better foundation for an innovator in training?

More blog posts by Andrew McAfee

More on: Education, Innovation

 

Andrew McAfee

Andrew McAfee is principal research scientist at the Center for Digital Business in the MIT Sloan School of Management. He is the author of Enterprise 2.0 and the co-author, with Erik Brynjolfsson, of Race Against The Machine.

 

There’s No Homework in Finland

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To some people, Finland isn’t a whole lot more than a chilly, northern country boasting a population of around 5 million people. Whether you’ve been to Finland or not, you probably haven’t had the chance to take an up-close and personal look at one of Finland’s greatest accomplishments to date—its high-achieving education system. Students in Finland have, over the past several years, risen to the top of the academic food-chain, and they’ve become some of the top scholarly performers in the world. Compared to many other developed nations, including the US and Canada, Finland’s high school graduation rates have continued to grow steadily and impressively. Furthermore, a huge percentage of students continue on to earn college degrees, and students at all levels perform exceedingly well on standardized tests. So what’s Finland’s secret? It’s hard to say for sure, but some good guesses as to the source of their success include respecting their teachers highly, assigning students less homework and more recess time, and keeping standardized testing to a minimum. The following infographic takes an in-depth look at some of the details behind Finland’s educational system, and what makes it work so well.  Image below was taken from OnlinClasses.org.

 Finnish Education Infographic

Changing Education Paradigms

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This video offers insight on the 19th century process we use to educate our children in the 21st century and the repercussion when competing in a now global economy. The lackluster lecture has been converted to a visual animation making it more interesting to keep your attention and really makes you think about how we learn as people. Lecture given by Sir Ken Robinson, world-renowned education and creativity expert and recipient of the RSA’s Benjamin Franklin award.

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