Seven Essential Traits of Leaders

Often we get caught up in the day to day routine of managing our schools that we forget our role as leader. So for the next seven blog posts, UMA will take a look at some of the essential characteristics of leaders.

The first is EMPATHY.

To be empathetic, you have to be aware of the needs of your teachers and other employees, and sensitive to and active in meeting these needs. It involves anticipating the needs and behaviors of your team ( more on being a team later), becoming in effect a "facilitator of change" for them. The more your employees see you as one who effectively deals with problems and seeks opportunities for growth in yourself and others, the more they will be motivated to help you. Empathy enables you to more effectively influence and help individual employees. Empathy also will help you to encourage mutually helpful relations among group members and to win support for positive group effort.

Related subjects to consider: active listening, dealing with anger or frustration, honesty with humility, understanding.


Natural Playgrounds

Is your school or community in the market for a new playground where kids can play with natural elements such as sand, water, wood and living plants?
Or perhaps you are simply looking for ideas, discussing how to better connect with nature. You may find some food for thought by going to this site:



About Emails... Some Important Things to Keep in Mind!

Recently, Trudy and I received this post from a marketing guru, Ed Coumou of CPF Marketing

"Many of you are probably very knowledgeable about this, but what we do in e-mails
affects not only us, but those we're messaging. So perhaps this bears repeating just
to make sure we are all on the same page.

Many of us are familiar with and/or for
determining whether information received via e-mail is just that: true/false or
fact/fiction. Both are excellent sites. I received the advice below from one of my
associates today.

Mass mailing should always be done to Bcc: where the
names and e-mail addresses are hidden from prying eyes!

Advice from MEMORIZE THIS!

1) Any time you see an E-Mail that says forward this to '10' of your friends,
sign this petition, or you'll get bad luck, good luck, or whatever, it almost
always has an E-Mail tracker program attached that tracks the cookies and
E-Mails of those folks you forward to. The host sender is getting a copy each
time it gets forwarded and then is able to get lists of 'active' E-Mail addresses
to use in SPAM E-Mails, or sell to other spammers.

2) Almost all E-Mails that ask you to add your name and forward on to others
are similar to that mass letter years ago that asked people to send business
cards to t he little kid in Florida who wanted to break the Guinness Book of
Records for the most cards. All it was, and all any of this type of E-Mail is,
is a way to get names and 'cookie' tracking information for telemarketers
and spammers - - to validate active E-Mail accounts for their own profitable

You can do your friends and family members a GREAT favor by sending
this information to them; you will be providing a service, and will be
rewarded by not getting thousands of spam E-Mails in the future! Your safest bet
is to copy and paste this information into your email – don’t just forward it.

If you have been opening and sending out (FORWARDING) the above kinds of E-Mail,
you now know why you get so much SPAM!

You may think you are supporting a GREAT cause, but you are NOT in the
long run. Instead, you will be getting tons of junk mail later! Plus, we are
helping the spammers get rich! Don't make it easy for them!

Also: E-Mail petitions are
NOT acceptable to Congress or any other organization.
To be acceptable, petitions must have a signed signature and full address
of the person signing the petition.

Read the full story here:

Please do NOT send me these types of emails. Do yourself (and others) a favor
by not adding your name to those types of listings regardless how inviting
they might sound! And please don't be offended because this was sent to you.
We can never have too many reminders. Just stop forwarding those “interesting”
And “inviting” emails you think your friends would get a kick out of.

As a matter of fact, how do you know this email doesn’t record names and tracking cookies?
Get the point?"

Ed Coumou


Teacher Position Openings

Little Oak Montessori School in White Salmon, Wa. is seeking teachers for both our
Lower Elementary classroom and our Primary Childrenʼs House. AMI certification
preferred, but AMS welcome to apply.

Listed by the United Montessori Association


Your favorite classroom books!

Do you have favorite (reality) books for the Montessori classroom? Fiction or non-fiction...UMA would love to create a list to share. Please write in and let us know. Or contact:


Your Parent Education ...

Do you have a formulated approach to your parent information and education of Montessori education? If you do, UMA would like to know more about it- what have you found helpful? what needs work? ongoing..., etc? If you don't, perhaps we can keep this disccussion going and assist you.

Let us know by starting in with comments ( see below)


For Parents and Schools: "What about those light bulbs?"

You've heard the hype about CFL bulbs, both the good and the bad. Here's an article that may help you and parents make a responsible and knowledgeable choice on what bulb to use?

Always be thinking of ways to be more Green!



Something to Share with Parents and Staff: "11 Best Foods You Aren't Eating"

At UMA, food is important! So much so that we feel that we all need reminders as to what is good for the body. Montessorians are always making the connection between the mind and the body.
Here's an article from the NY Times on health and the food we eat. Something to share with your staff and parents:


Whatever Your Faith or Belief...."I Take the Vow"

Here is something to consider regardless of one's faith or belief. It is something we can do as part of the human race. As staff, schools and parents, can we not consider taking a stand, a vow of non-violence in thought, speech and action. Go to UMA would like to know your thoughts.


Distance Learning con't. "More do's and don't's"

Here are some more helpful ideas to keep your distance learning meaningful and important!

*** Keep within the limits or outline of your work. If there are specific number of pages for each assignment, stick to that number. Going over or under may result in your assignment being placed on "the back burner". It says to the evaluator " I don't care for the parameters or rules of the program.
*** Keep the context by making sure the thread of your conversation or lesson is in the body of your email or document. This is very important! Here at UMA, we have, at times, had to return assignments to students not evaluated since they forgot to keep all the back and forth's in the lesson body. Without it, neither the student or the teacher can understand the flow of what was said or needs to be worked on.
*** Stay away from forwarding on messages. It is great to be part of a team in learning. But sometimes we may think our prof or evaluator would like to know what else is going on in our lives. Sometimes it is funny material, jokes, etc. As much as we may want to be chummy, it is not appropriate within an online classroom. Bottomline, it simply takes everyone involved away from the focus of learning. Keep those forwarded emails for close friends or family.

I hope these tips and ideas are helpful for your journey in Distance Learning!