For the Inaugural "Transformative Teacher" Series Feature, it only made sense for me to start with the one with whom I am most familiar (well, besides myself, of course). I'm talking about my incomparable big sister and educator extraordinaire, Ruba Al-Serhan. Read along as she shares her reflections on identity, transitioning to teaching high school after 16 years in early childhood classrooms, teaching in "The Bible Belt" as a Muslim-American woman, and more. I am fairly certain you'll love her as much as I do!Read More
“So, what is Montessori?”
You’ve been asked this question again and you think to yourself… ‘I’m delighted that you’re interested, but how do I respond in a concise manner while still managing to do justice to this comprehensive method of education?’ Even as someone who has gone through rigorous training to become a Montessorian, I still struggle with my “elevator speech,” if you will, but here goes nothing…Read More
From Jasmine Banks: "Razan Abdin-Adnani is adamant that in order for us to effectively do equity work, that we must also deeply understand ourselves and our identities."
Check out my guest post on her blog here!Read More
Are you someone who likes to participate in archaic traditions?
Yeah, me neither.
Like most people, I’ve retired from the increasingly obsolete tradition of setting a New Year’s Resolution because I never stay loyal to the resolution itself. So, if it isn’t really an effective strategy for personal growth or success, why use it?
I’ve been seeing this new tradition sprouting up like wildflowers on my social media recently and I’m kind of intrigued. It suggests choosing just one solitary word to represent that which you’d like to see manifested in the New Year.Read More
A seasonal twist on a quintessential Montessori language work:
The Phonetic Object Game consists of a box containing 6-8 small objects, the names of which are phonetic (e.g.-lid, cat, pot, magnet, etc.). It is the first reading activity in the Montessori Primary environment. The printed labels shown in the picture are part of the child’s independent work of reading the labels and matching them to the appropriate objects. It is ideal to rotate the objects frequently in order to sustain interest.
Children will love the seasonally inspired version of this language activity!Read More
My life looks radically different these days (in some ways anyhow). Since the last time I shared anything in this space, I got engaged, moved, turned 30, left teaching, got married, and started gaining a clearer idea of what I want my life’s work to look like. Whew. I’m learning how to navigate life wearing new and unfamiliar identities: 30-something, wife (oh yes, and that new, hyphenated name), Charlottean (sigh), person who tries to be braver in certain areas of her life despite seemingly insurmountable anxiety and fear, etc. I am still in the midst of trying to decide what freedom looks like in the context of my own life, both personally and professionally.Read More
This was the thought she had upon seeing a big group of Muslims in the American South in 2015. The unwavering purity of a child's heart! Why can't (some) adults be so loving/accepting?
So, it remains...children are the most effective advocates for peace and justice that I know and they don't even have to try. They are all love.Read More
Thank you to Little Rock Urban Farming for donating these gorgeous, organically grown Zinnias to our school for flower arranging! The children take pride in being able to beautify their environments and this activity helps aid in the development of concentration, control of movement, and independence!Read More
Dr. Maria Montessori saw language as an instrument of collective thought, an extraordinary gift that allows us to pass on culture and intelligence. Children in the Primary classroom are experiencing their sensitive periods for language and the universal human tendency of communication. The child between the ages of three and six has an amazing capacity for language acquisition. There are three basic elements to language: spoken, writing, and reading.Read More
The process of choosing a name for this new venture was both exciting and daunting. After all, first impressions are important. Names can shape identity and affect professional opportunities (perhaps less and less so these days, as people are becoming increasingly more creative in their naming habits). Naming rituals around the world vary. However, wherever you are, the act of giving a name is deeply symbolic.
As a flower lover, I began researching flower symbolism in hopes of finding something that fit what I wanted this project to encompass. The azalea symbolizes caring for one’s self. In Chinese culture, the flower is a symbol for womanhood. Azaleas are also synonymous with The South, the most beloved shrub of the region. Plus, they’re simply lovely. Azalea.Read More
The postpartum period is beautiful, emotional, overwhelming, and exhausting. Your world revolves around this precious little person that you miraculously created and brought into this world, and everyone in the family is getting to know each other again. As all of this is happening, don’t forget that you need to nourish yourself with healthy foods - your body put so many resources into growing and birthing a baby, and your physical and emotional health, as well as your quantity and quality of breast milk depend on your nutrition.Read More
The term essentially acknowledges that the first three months for a new baby are almost like an extension of the time in the womb. Human babies are born quite helpless due to a brain that is largely underdeveloped. (Within the first year, an infant’s brain size doubles.) The infant undergoes an immense transition from a confined environment that is dark and warm, with muffled sounds and constant nourishment and then enters a world where there is light, loud noises, lots of space, fluctuating temperatures and hunger. A baby relies on her caretaker for her every need (and those needs are many). Of course, babies need compassionate care and special attention during this critical period…and so do mothers.Read More
My goal is to create a space for productive, respectful dialogue. A place for mothers, fathers, educators, activists and health care professionals to share information and stories.
My hope is that this project will ultimately contribute, even in some teeny, tiny way, to a paradigm shift with regard to how our society views and treats mothers and children.
Stay tuned for upcoming posts!
In the meantime, if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please feel free to contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org