Salal Class March Update

Dear Salal Family,

As we navigate these last months of school I want you to thank you for your belief in the Montessori philosophy, the Montessori Country School community, and in Ellie and me. Your child is navigating their world relatively independently in our setting. When problems arise, children have skills to navigate and find solutions. If the problem is too big, confusing, and/or causes “big feelings”, Ellie and I are there to guide and support. There are problems in all classroom settings, Salal is no exception. You may or may not hear about them. Please be assured that Ellie and I are doing well keeping an eye on the classroom culture that the children have established. Our basic ground rules are known by all students, including “inside voices, walking feet, kind/gentle words and hands.” Even though we like these rules, it is okay with us if some are broken. When a quiet child prances through the classroom singing loudly, we see confidence budding. When a friend gets hit by another friend, it is sad and unfortunate, but developmentally normal for young children as they emerge from parallel play and learn about friendships for the first time. “Bad guys” are an opportunity to remind students of our “no bad guys at school because it can scare small children”. “No weapons, even pretend” has always been an MCS rule. Some school days are hard. That’s when resilience is built. Our Salal community is special because we give each other grace and freedom to be who we are.

How can you help build our classroom community from home? Ask about random classmates. Tell stories about your childhood experiences. Reach out to newer families that are trying to find community on Bainbridge. If you hear about something that happened at school that might be helpful for Ellie or me to know, please CALL US! We don’t see everything and your insight will help. Call if something doesn’t seem quite right, you have questions ,or you are curious what a day in school looks like for your child. If, for some reason, you don’t like the response you get from Ellie or me, call Meghan! She is a great advocate for children, families, and teachers. We all want to build each other up whenever we can. Our room reps (Jessie and Esther) are there to help navigate the ins and outs about MCS for families. This includes: who to talk to about tuition, welcome new families to the class and school, arrange class playdates, and coordinate parent events. I rely on “my” room reps to help with all the things I can’t do as a classroom teacher and am so grateful for their commitment to MCS.  (Thanks Jessie and Esther!) If there is an in-class matter, please reach out to Meghan or myself first and not each other. I like to say “What happens in Salal, stays in Salal”. Give children grace to make mistakes in our setting and watch the growth.

We are entering a transition phase of the school year. It’s coming to an end rapidly. Change and goodbyes can come with big feelings. Some are leaving our little (salal) nest for new schools and new classrooms. Some are staying in Salal and are emerging as leaders. Inevitably, our sweet 2023-24 Salal class is coming to an end… It has been a wonderful year of friendships, silliness, and lots of sweetness. Oh! and learning!! We will finish off the year with marine studies and small group projects. The kindergarteners have sewing projects led by third graders, plus Writer’s Workshop kids just published a newspaper!

Ellie and I hope you have a wonderful Spring Break. I plan to camp while Ellie goes to HAWAII!!!!

(Meaning the essence of being: love, peace, compassion, and a mutual understanding of respect. Living in harmony with the people and land around you with mercy, sympathy, grace, and kindness.)
Cheryl and Ellie

Scroll to Top