From Director of School Administration

Dear CMS Community,


I do feel privileged as always to be in a position that allows me to wax lyrical and share my thoughts. To end the year on such a positive note is a testament to our commitment to our children’s learning. There have been bumps along the way this term as I am still processing exit interviews and meeting parents into next week. I know some in the community feel regret at leaving the school for a myriad of reasons. We are truly sad to see you go, wish you well in your future learning, but mostly want you to know your children, empowered by their time spent at CMS, go forth better equipped than others into a world basically conforming to the middle line of ability from their first days of schooling. I can safely say, through experience as a parent and a child (a long, long time ago) that the effectiveness of learning is largely based on the ability of the ‘teacher’ to guide learning.

Okay, so I opened with “waxing lyrical’. Using the term brings me to share my deep pleasure in seeing our lovely Tom Ransom in front of the Cycle 3 community (plus guests) last Friday evening as he shared a beautiful journey, outlining achievements for our young pre-adolescents as their time draws to a close at CMS. Our masters of ceremony, Sonja and Lauren, were magnificent as at the ripe old ages of 11 and 12 they managed interim moments during the event by sharing knock, knock jokes. Max was outstanding as he chose to make his mark by playing the guitar for the audience. My goodness, but the speeches this year were exceptional. In the past Toastmasters’ support was drawn on to support the event. This year the ‘Graduation’ was conducted by Tom as he gently guided the children and let them shine. Tom not only shared poetry with the children but also recited his own. As he described the year and the progress of our fantastic children who take a big step to high school next year, he reminisced and described our entrepreneurial, innovative and free-thinking children through his poetic words. I cannot relay every speech (more to come in the Year Book) but can say our students are outstanding members of our community. As is known by all the children throughout the school, they have displayed great leadership in their reading, singing and sharing of knowledge with Cycle 1 and 2.

Often when we appoint staff who are at the beginning of their Montessori journey, we encounter both resistance and encouragement from parents. However, the message from those who appoint staff will remain the same. It looks like this… ”We have placed this Director in front of you today as we believe they have what it takes to guide your child in a Montessori setting.” I thank the powers that be that allowed me my very first year teaching. I was 21 and not even ‘adult’ according to Montessori’s developmental planes. That trust in me allowed me to progress through 30 years of a deep commitment to Montessori philosophy and guided me to the role I so dearly appreciate today. If we can embrace the unknown and trust in the decisions of those who, through training and experience, know what the right fit looks like, I think the world would be a better place. My present role is now three years in existence at CMS and the learning curve very steep, but I hold fast to trusting our staff to be the best they can be.

With this in mind I am so happy to be able to share recent news on the training front. Taryn Smith-Hardy who is a classroom assistant and Gumnut co-ordinator, just received her final exam results and now proudly holds a 3 to 6 Montessori diploma from the Montessori Institute. The commitment when doing a diploma by distance education is immense. Workshops are held during holiday breaks and require travel as they are rarely held in Canberra.  Be sure to congratulate Taryn when you see her next. Also spare a thought for the dedicated staff who will be spending most of the break with their full time study Montessori training here at Holder.

My message to end the year is thank you to each and everyone of you for your individual participation in helping our children in their natural progression.

Kind regards,

Áine Barker

Director School Administration