Who are these people? Find out on Tuesday!

Who are these people? Come on Tuesday night, March 1 at 7:00 to find out why they play a key role in the Post Oak High School.

Bring your questions and suggestions for High School Director, James Moudry and Head of School, John Long.


POHS Gets Attention at Montessori Conference

At this past weekend's AMI/USA conference, we had two goals for the Post Oak High School:
1. Keep our eyes open for teachers who may want to come work with us and

2. Spread the word that we're opening the high school and encourage other schools to do the same.
Most of the energy seemed to be around the latter and we received a good deal of positive feedback about the start of the Post Oak School in 2012. The Post Oak School has a prominent national role on the Montessori scene and everyone who saw our brochure and heard about our plans was impressed and inspired.

For more information, read on...


Talented Teenagers (link to Education by Design)

It's not always that there's such strong synergy between these two blogs, but in this case it seemed worthwhile to point you over to Head of School, John Long's blog entry on Talented Teenagers.

His comments and the excerpts get right to the heart of what high school 2.0 looks like or should look like. What do you think?  What should the role of technology be?  What should be happening in 'classes'?  Should there be classes?

Weigh in here or over at Education by Design.


Talented Teenagers and The Will
by John Long, Head of School
Amy Chua, the Tiger Mother, advocates an authoritarian “Chinese parenting” style, wherein Mother knows best and children are required to get nothing less than A grades in school, and to learn either piano or violin (not cello or flute; and certainly not ballet, soccer or acting). 
Say what you want about Tiger Mother, at least she is concerned with the cultivation of talent.  Most of our nation’s schools are now locked onto the goal of improving test scores.  What kind of talent is that?  Tiger Mother and Most Schools fall into the same trap:  “Children, be quiet and do what we say.”  Tiger Mother’s younger daughter refused to act like  clay, and objected to her mother’s heavy-handed molding.
Tiger Mother understands that it takes hard work to develop talent.  What she fails to understand is the Will of the child.  The Will.  And when her younger daughter insisted, “I won’t,” Tiger Mother’s system failed.
Steven Lopez,
three-time Olympic taekwondo champion, visited The Post Oak School last week. Lopez told our students that they can accomplish whatever they dream – if they are willing to work hard enough.  Willing to work hard.  Will + Work = Accomplishment.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
I was recently invited by the Independent Schools Association of the Southwest (ISAS) to help plan the organization’s teacher conference being held here in Houston next fall.  I suggested a number of possible speakers, including Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Kevin Rathunde who have collaborated on several of research studies related to Csikszentmihalyi’s “flow theory”.  In 1995 Csikszentmihalyi and Rathunde collaborated on the book Talented Teenagers. 
A reviewer summarized: “The authors conclude that learning to invest, and wanting to invest in challenging tasks is indispensable to skill development.”  In other words, to develop talent, students must be willing to work hard.
The authors add that the social environment of school and home must encourage teenagers to “take more responsibility for their own learning, especially in the area of their talent, and finding enjoyment in doing so.”  As a Post Oak Middle School student said several years ago, “At Post Oak everyone is motivated to learn, we want to learn, and we motivate each other to want to learn.”
And finally, regarding the optimal conditions for developing talent in teenagers, the authors observed, “None of these elements, however, was much in evidence in the teenagers’ schools; instead, the schools appeared more interested in ‘covering cognitive ground’ than engaging the interest of talented students.”  In other words, schools were more interested in covering the curriculum than in developing student interest and student talent.
Post Oak High School
This is why we have accepted the challenge to expand our program into the high school level—not just another conventional high school—a Montessori high school, a Post Oak high school.
Copyright John Long and The Post Oak School

New Website Content

Stop reading this and jump over to the Post Oak High School pages on the school's website.  As usual, there will be more to come and we'll be working to keep the most current information on the website and in this blog.

Let us know what you think!


Museum District Partnership Work Continues

Over the past two weeks existing relationships have been strengthened and new ones opened up.

  • Three new conversations with the MFAH education department and the Glassell School.
  • A conversation with Chance Sanford, the Education Director at the Houston Zoo
  • A new contact at NASA!
The good work continues in earnest.  Come to one of the upcoming coffees for more information:
  • Wednesday, February 23, 9:00-10:00 a.m. in the multipurpose room
  • Tuesday, March 1, 7:00-8:00 p.m. in the multipurpose room


Employment Inquiries Begin

Last week, we posted a general description of the teaching positions that will be open at the high school in the fall of 2012.  Interested applicants are contacting us well in advance of the official start of our hiring process, which will commence in the fall of 2011.

Even before the posting went up, we had collected a half dozen inquiries from people who wanted us to know they were interested in "keeping in touch" through our planning process.  

It's great to be noticed and we'll be conducting a serious local and national search for just the right teachers to create the inaugural team.  

Who will they be?  We are looking for happy, well-grounded individuals who are committed to our team-centric organization.  Additionally, they must possess serious depth in their specialized field and be able to work in a highly integrated and fluid environment.

This week, we'll bring our call for interested applicants to the annual, national Montessori conference; this year, it's in Long Beach, California.

We'll keep you posted, but if you know someone who might be a good fit, let them know we'd love to hear from them.


High School Advisory Panel

Today was the first meeting of the ten-member student High School Advisory Panel (HSAP).  The panel is comprised of two students from each grade in grades four through eight.  Each Upper Elementary class chooses two students to represent the class and four students represent the Middle School.  The goal of the panel is to provide a venue for students to ask questions, give feedback, get new information, and talk informally about the development of the high school division.

"The school should have a courtyard space outside so we can sit outside and study or work with friends." 
"There should be a locker room with a steam room!" 
"We should connect with Rice University's music program so we can do advanced music." 
"There should be a cafeteria with good food."
In addition to the conversation, the representatives are responsible for bringing questions and feedback from their peers in their respective classes.  Each group came with a written list of demands suggestions and questions.

"Will there be classes for future careers?" 
"What color will the school be?" 
"Will there be uniforms?" 
"There should be a historic garden." 
"There should be classes on clothing design."

As expected, Montessori students are ready to be involved in creating their own learning experiences and their learning environment.


Coffee with the High School Director

High School Coffee

Join Post Oak High School Director James Moudry for coffee and conversation about plans for Post Oak’s high school which will open in the fall of 2012.  The coffee will be held in the multipurpose room on Wednesday, February 23 from 9 – 10 a.m.  All are welcome.

A second coffee will be held on Tuesday, March 1 from 7-8 p.m. in the multipurpose room.  The two presentations will have roughly the same content.