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  Santa Cruz Parent Santa Cruz, CA

February 11, 2016


A Leader Mentors Leaders

Steve: Real Quality Time
Presidents' Day, Always the 3rd Monday
Click to view our Business Directory
 

(A Feb 2016) ValentineRose2.jpgHappy Valentine's Day!

We're in the midst of looking at next leaders of our country.  These potential leaders are highly visible as they seek to convey their styles of leadership, principles and beliefs. More quiet yet perhaps more impactful on our own lives are local leaders, especially in education. We bring you a glimpse into the journey of another leader today.  Look for what you can take away and apply to raising your children, after all you are leaders in your family!

On a fun note, please send us photos of your kids' self-built, creative, made-from-materials-at-hand forts, hideouts, dens, playhouses. 

(A Buttons) Button_Weekend.jpgPlease recommend our newsletter to new friends so they won't miss a few tidbits of wisdom from our author contributors, and as always our many fun events! We cannot fit them all into this newsletter.  There are more on the online calendar.

Have a great Valentines weekend! Parmalee

 

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  A Leader Mentors Leaders

Teach to Learn: Mentoring Leaders

 by Mary Supriya McDonald, Head
Mount Madonna School

(A Feb 2016) MountMadonna_SupriyaMPramanik.jpgEach of us has our own educational journey, often punctuated with memorable teachers, relatives, colleagues and people we meet that help guide us towards using our intuitive gifts and talents. The journey is always personal, and often met with learning challenges and opportunities depending on one's mind set. Tracking our steps can inform our future decisions and help find the path where we can be of service to others, while continuing to grow and change.

Serving now as the Head of Mount Madonna School (MMS), I reflect back on the small and large steps that situated me in this position. Being a school administrator was never one of my long term goals. I was raised in a family of teachers from the maternal side of my family - my mother, grandmother, aunts and cousins all were educators. I grew up playing school in the basement of a beautiful old Illinois farm house, next to the coal chute, with wooden desks that had holes for inkwells. Being the youngest cousin, I was often the student. However, when I went home to my suburban neighborhood and set-up my own basement classroom, I was the teacher to dolls, stuffed animals and the occasional friends who would agree to play school with me. I loved school, both the learning and the teaching.

In college, unable to choose one discipline, I decided to major in elementary education so I could teach every subject. I tutored students on the Lummi Indian reservation and decided to focus in Ethnic Studies, doing much research on Mexican Americans and Native Americans in the educational system. Western Washington University offered the innovative programs I wanted so I transferred from Northwestern University in Chicago, to Bellingham, Washington. I visited village schools in southern Mexico and worked with migrant children in Arlington, Washington as part of my college program. My first full time teaching job was in a private school in Seattle for one year, before taking a third grade public teaching job in Marysville, Washington, which lasted for 10 years. I completed the obligatory fifth year program for teachers at the University of Washington, but I really learned how to teach well, by partnering with two highly skilled teachers in Marysville.

These teachers had several qualities that are key to any mentor relationship. They were open to a new person without judgment or reservation. They encouraged me and pointed to my strengths, laughed at my mistakes and let me do my own discovery. They shared ideas and welcomed my thoughts to the collective creative planning process. When I said I wanted to show students how to make tofu, bread and dehydrate food- they asked that I come to their classrooms too, versus telling me it wasn't one of the State's health standards. Teaching sun salutation asana in the early 1980s wasn't the norm in PE class, but these teachers supported me to share what I loved and knew well. They even asked me to demonstrate the warm-up to others, strange as yoga seemed back then.

I learned a positive growth mindset of leadership from these two early teaching mentors, which continued with our former head of Mount Madonna School, Sarada Diffenbaugh. Sarada and I have worked together for over 28 years and she modeled qualities of good leadership that I continue to aspire to and work on daily. Using good discrimination, listening with an open heart, supporting through difficulties, balancing hard choices in the interest of the students, matching talents with task, and like a good teacher, asking the right questions to create solutions.

Building trust is a large part of what I strive to do daily at MMS. It takes time, patience, listening, questioning, forgiveness and compassion.

At MMS, we strive to set common goals, work collaboratively and support one another whenever help is needed. My primary job as Head of School is to model positive relationships and create the foundation for teachers, students and staff to learn together. Our classrooms are designed to foster an atmosphere of collegiality and we work with faculty in a two-week August retreat to make time for bonding and inspiring connections to form. We mentor new student leaders each year with our buddy program, which spans preschool through high school. Our student travel opportunities, performing arts and athletic programs build leadership, confidence, teamwork and trust. Each classroom and special program creates shared goals that can only be accomplished by working together and allowing space for leadership to organically emerge.

This coming decade is a time of leadership transition for the school and larger community as the "boomers" retire and pass the leadership positions to the next generation. Knowing the impact that the MMS model of education has made in so many young peoples' lives is the reason I continue to pursue the work of headship with passion and dedication.

The best leaders in my mind are not craving position, title, power, but rather lead by example, are humble and acknowledge and share credit for group efforts. Leaders see what needs doing, find the resources to accomplish the goal and remember to appreciate the work of others. They lead by example and work to build a climate of respect and trust so that real learning, which requires risk, failure and mistakes, has a place to grow. Our students, parents, teachers and staff share the best intentions when they start school in August each year. School leaders remind them that the glass is half full, shine the light on what's working and demonstrate confidence that with effort and commitment to purpose, the step-by-step journey will unfold.

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Mary Supriya McDonald joined Mount Madonna School (MMS) in 1987 after working in Washington state public schools for 10 years. Since that time she has served in many capacities including elementary teacher, elementary director starting in 1998, and co-head of school from 2008-2015. In 2015-16, Mary began serving as the single head of school. She was drawn to MMS as both a teacher and a parent looking to create an educational experience that was relevant, inspiring, balanced and fostered self-knowledge, in addition to the excellent academic preparation necessary for college. 

 

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  Steve: Real Quality Time

(AAA_Feb 2015) SteveSpitalny.jpgRecently I was re-experiencing the amazing results of doing real work with the young children are around. When I am truly engaged in necessary, meaningful work around my house or preschool or kindergarten, the children are served in ever so many ways. Of course it is important to be playful with the children, and to play with them sometimes. It is also important to get the things done that your household or facility require for continued smooth functioning and beautiful aesthetics.

What sort of work am I talking about? I mean the real stuff of cleaning, cooking, pruning, raking, laundry, bathroom cleaning, window cleaning, sweeping, mopping, cobweb removal... You know what I mean. Some call these sorts of things "domestic activity.'

I think of early years development as concentric circles. The inner circle is learning how to move. Next is learning to keep the body clean and fed. The next circle out is caring for the home. And just in time for first grade, we look out into and begin to learn about and understand the wider world.

Why real work is so important: Continue to 5 Important Considerations (it's good!)>>>>>>

Steve Spitalny is an early childhood consultant and writer and offers lectures, workshops and mentoring around the world. Teachers and parents alike rave about their experiences and want him back for more! You can learn more about him at: Chamakanda.com

  Presidents' Day, Always the 3rd Monday

(A Feb 2016) lincoln-tad-P.jpg"Presidents' Day is an American holiday celebrated on the third Monday in February. Originally established in 1885 in recognition of President George Washington, it is still officially called "Washington's Birthday" by the federal government. Traditionally celebrated on February 22-Washington's actual day of birth-the holiday became popularly known as Presidents' Day after it was moved as part of 1971's Uniform Monday Holiday Act, an attempt to create more three-day weekends for the nation's workers. While several states still have individual holidays honoring the birthdays of Washington, Abraham Lincoln and other figures, Presidents' Day is now popularly viewed as a day to celebrate all U.S. presidents past and present. "

Get more fun history facts at History.com. Photo is of President Lincoln and his son Tad.

 

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Mount Madonna PreK-12, Open House featuring Hands-on Science and Conversation Cafe 2/20

 

Cabrillo College, College Planning 2/29

 

Gateway K-8, School Day Tours 3/8

 

Mount Madonna PreK-12, Meet us in Aptos 3/10

 

Waldorf K-8, A Walk Through the Grades 3/16

 

All School Events

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Retro Nights
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  Retro Nights
Beach Boardwalk
Date: Every Mon and Tues (Jun 19-Aug 22) at 5:00pm
Details: Special weeknight prices for locals!
City: Santa Cruz view all details >>
     
Mentoring Leaders
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  Mentoring Leaders
Date:
view all details >>
     
Building Methods at the Mission
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  Building Methods at the Mission
State Park Mission
Date: 10/28/2017 from 1:00pm to 2:00pm
Details: Get your hands dirty and make your own mini adobe brick
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 425-5849 view all details >>
     
 Dramaturgs ~ Two Gentlemen of Verona
click to view website
  Dramaturgs ~ Two Gentlemen of Verona
Library Aptos
Date: 07/25/2017 at 7:00pm
Ages: 8 and up
Details: This lively discussions, now in their third year at SCPL, will greatly elevate your enjoyment of the 2017 season performances
City: Aptos Phone: 831- 427-7700 ext. 7665 view all details >>
     
Second Saturday on the Farm
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  Second Saturday on the Farm
Ag History Project
Date: The 2nd Sa of every month from 11:00am to 3:00pm
Ages: All
Details: Join us for demonstrations using antique farm equipment, crafts, farm animals, wooden cow milking, water pumps, learning to driv
City: Watsonville Phone: 831-728-5898 view all details >>
     
Mentoring Leaders
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  Mentoring Leaders
Date:
view all details >>
     
Step-Parents Support Group
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  Step-Parents Support Group
Live Oak Family Resource Center
Date: The 2nd Th of every month from 6:30pm to 8:00pm
Details: Step-Parents Support Group 6:30-8pm. 2nd Thursday of each month Resource
City: Santa Cruz Phone: 831-476-7284 view all details >>
     
Mentoring Leaders
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  Mentoring Leaders
Date:
view all details >>
     
Be a Student Poll Worker
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  Be a Student Poll Worker
Votes Count
Date: Every day (Feb 5-Oct 1)
Ages: 16+
Details: Your teen 16+ can be an election poll worker!
City: Santa Cruz County view all details >>
     
Dinghies, Dancing, Dining and More!óBig Basin in its Heyday
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State Park Big Basin
Date: 02/12/2017 at 11:30am
Details: Easy romantic hour walks
City: Boulder Creek Phone: (831) 338-8861 view all details >>
     
Mentoring Leaders
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  Mentoring Leaders
Date:
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Mentoring Leaders
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  Mentoring Leaders
Date:
view all details >>
     
     
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