I first felt the magic of MSLF 15 years ago, when I was hired to be an assistant in Mia Stompanato’s Primary classroom. I was a college student, completing my bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. I fell in love with our beautiful campus. MSLF was a hidden gem with a campus that felt like it was right out of a nursery book! Then, I fell in love with Mia and all the other amazing teachers here at MSLF, most of whom are still teaching here today… and most of whom I have had the pleasure of working with directly. Their education, experience and passion for Montessori education is unparalleled and their love and dedication for this school is apparent by their years of service.
Next, I fell in love with the children at MSLF. I was impressed more and more every day as I observed the incredible work the students at our school accomplished. Their independence, their intelligence, their resilience and their grace were like nothing I had ever seen before. Watching these children grow and develop is why I fell in love with Montessori.
I could no longer imagine teaching in a traditional classroom, and being satisfied with the education I was providing to my students. I had found MSLF and I didn’t want to leave. So, I didn’t….
I’ve been a staff member or a parent, or both, ever since. MSLF is my village. This community has helped me celebrate many joys in my life and they have supported me through struggles in my life… and I couldn’t be more grateful. Indeed, it takes a village, and you really can’t ask for a better village than the community of staff, parents and children at MSLF. Our parents will volunteer for carpool, greeting moody toddlers with a smile in the morning and walk our children to their classroom cheerfully, even while they scream if they’re struggling with drop-off. Our teachers will patiently guide our children to be independent, resisting the urge to prevent a spill or correct an error to allow our children to learn from their experiences and do for themselves. Our children show respect to each other, offering tissues and hugs to a sad classmate rather than stares or judgment. They arrive at school excited to work and learn and take pride in sharing that work and inspiring their peers. Our Board, staff and committees work tirelessly to support our school through strategic planning, daily operations, community building and fundraising to ensure that our school can continue to be the village of choice for future families, who are sure to feel the magic of MSLF! We like to say “when you choose a school for your child, you choose a community for your family.” I am proud to be a part of this community and am honored to have the privilege of being Interim Executive Director this year and support my mentors, my colleagues, my friends.
We are brought together tonight by our common interest in a Montessori education for our children and our love for our school. We have chosen an education that will prepare our children for life, allowing them to develop not only their academic skills but also independence, concentration, respect, grace and courtesy, problem solving and strategic thinking. An education that will encourage their natural curiosity and self-discovery, developing a love of learning that will lead them to success throughout life.
Now, what you may not have realized when you decided to be a Montessori parent is that you did not choose an easy path. That’s right: It is not easy to be a Montessori parent. We spend countless hours every week waiting as patiently as we possibly can while our children dress themselves, tie their own shoes, or solve problems on their own. We sit on our hands while our children learn to use utensils independently, pour from a pitcher to a glass, or prepare a snack. We fight our natural instinct to correct their spelling or give them an answer, choosing to help them find the solution on their own. We encourage them to ask lots of questions, knowing this will surely lead to our own struggle to concentrate at some point. We let them know it’s okay to disagree, when we are well aware this one will come back to bite us. But, we also know all this extra effort is well worth it because our children develop into confident, capable, intelligent, compassionate human beings. These children will change the world, in ways large and small. They will inspire and teach others, they will solve problems and rethink solutions. AND, they will be capable of preparing a meal themselves and doing their own laundry, too….
With the support of the MSLF community, we all survive the waiting, and the spills and the accidents. As part of this community, we’ll no doubt support others, share our experiences and give advice. Just as our children grow to become role models, so do we. That’s because a Montessori education at MSLF will not only serve our children, but serves us, as well, making us stronger parents and better role models.
This year at MSLF, we are excited to continue to offer our students an exceptional Montessori education, with a goal to cultivate your child’s own natural desire to learn. And we are just as excited to offer and reintroduce a number of additional programs, which support their work in the classroom, meet their developmental needs and embrace their changing world. From establishing an indoor space for our Outdoor Classroom, to reintroducing Movement in an essential and meaningful way, ensuring our Mandarin and Spanish programs are available to all students, and keeping our creative offerings of theater and choir for our Elementary students.
Above all, MSLF relies on support from our community to continue to offer these exceptional programs and Montessori education. We hope you’ll show your support for MSLF throughout the year by attending school events, joining the MPO – our new parent organization, volunteering on a committee or in a classroom as much or as little as you can, and donating to our Annual Fund and at our Annual Hope & Promise Benefit in April 2020.
I hope you all are as excited about the year ahead as I am.
Thank you again for coming tonight and for your continued support for MSLF!
– Interim Executive Director, Hope Allegretti – Thursday, September 12, 2019