Interviewing Science Teacher Asha Sharma

asha sharma

Asha demonstrating a lab to her students.

Learning about Asha

Growing up in a rural town in Rajasthan, India, I was a typical small-town girl. I cared for my family’s cattle and did many household chores, including making dung cakes for fuel. But I knew that when I grew up, I wanted to become more than a housewife. I wanted to learn about and explore the world of science. Even though girls were not encouraged to pursue education, I worked diligently to become the first girl in my large extended family of over 165 people to pursue a career in STEM and to attend a co-ed college. I graduated first division in my undergrad degree and was the only student selected from my state for the prestigious honor of working at AIIMS with one of India’s three electron microscopes.

Teaching science

asha teaching

Asha teaching.

When I worked at the Children’s House at Maharishi School, I loved watching the preschoolers explore the world around them with awe in their faces. They reminded me of my younger self and I felt elated to be able to feed their curiosity. As time went on, my role at Maharishi School changed, and now I’m teaching those same toddlers much more advanced topics in their high school science classes!

This year, I plan to focus on hands-on projects and labs rather than working through a textbook, because I know from my personal experience that exciting, tactile learning helps students retain the knowledge they’re learning for longer. They also enjoy seeing what they learned be put into action, allowing for a better understanding of the material.

maharishi school students wearing mask

Asha’s Science students working.

My long-term goals for teaching are to emerge from the coronavirus pandemic with new skills and to give my students a memorable experience which will bring them joy, not sadness. Like everyone else, the biggest challenge I am currently facing is managing technology and tri-brid teaching (in-person, online, and remote). Because I teach 4 different classes and 3 different subjects where I keep switching between different classes and labs, I need multiple sets of technology (computers, webcams, microphones, etc.) for each period. I knew this would be a hassle both practically and monetarily, so I worked with our wonderful custodian to create a portable cart that transports all the necessary equipment between my classes. It’s like science on wheels!

Covid-19’s impact on her classroom

asha sharma science

Asha and her science cart, it says “Science is everywhere for everyone.”

As a teacher, when I think of school, I think of the joy of seeing students’ bright faces as they walk into my classroom, of watching the kids as they plan something mischievous (and maybe even joining in), and their excited faces as they work in the lab. When the Coronavirus hit, my lesson plans were thrown out the window and I was forced to find something fun and engaging that would prompt my students to hit the unmute button. Online, there were a limited number of projects and labs we could do, and I struggled to find the right balance between work and leniency in my lessons to fit everyone’s different workloads at home. So, it was a relief when we started hybrid learning, but in-person learning came with another set of problems.

Now, I had to figure out how to keep both students in person and online engaged all while dealing with new technology. I tackled the first challenge by joining many online webinars and finding many free online resources, like virtual labs. The second problem was a bit harder to fix due to the fact that I had four different rooms that had to be visually accessible to students, but with a little inspiration I came up with the solution of my science cart. Now, this cart is like my super handy tool and making my life way more easy and manageable.

To watch Asha in action, click here.

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Meet Our New Teachers: Michael Fitzgerald

Meet our new teacher

micehal fitzgerald computer teacherMichael Fitzgerald came to Fairfield in 2012 to attend MIU for his Bachelors in math with a computer science track and finished in 2016. Over the next several years he worked for a digital marketing company and went back to school to get a masters degree in software development. Michael saw that Maharishi School was looking for someone in tech support, however as soon as his skills became evident to the administration, we realized he was overly competent for the job. He was asked to teach a computer course, which he has now introduced to the middle school students as Technological and Digital Literacy 101.

 

What is Technological and Digital Literacy?

This is not your traditional computer science course. Technological and Digital Literacy focuses less on why computers do what they do but how to computer lab at schooluse and manipulate what’s in them for efficacy in learning. TDL is a class that teaches students how to interact in the tech world and use what’s already available in order to become fluent in technology. This is so important as we go further into schooling entirely online. Michael explains, “this course will prepare you for life. I look at this course as a woodworking, or home economics class, because once you learn that skill you will have it for the rest of your life. The more tech literate you become, the more you will understand new technologies with ease.”

 

To learn more about our academics or to contact a member of our admissions staff, click here.

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Meet Our New Teachers: Amie Saine

Meet Alumni Amie Saine!

new teacher alumni amie saine

Amie leading a  yoga to class.

Amie was born in Gambia and moved to the United States when she was 14 years old to attend Maharishi School. After Amie graduated, becoming an alumni in 2015, she enrolled at Maharishi International Univeristy. There she completed her schooling in 2019 with a degree in business. Amie says,  “After graduating, I had a modeling contract with BMG model and talent agency in New York City. I moved to NYC for almost a year, but then I ended up getting very sick in January 2020. I decided to move back to Fairfield in February in order to focus on my health and live with my parents. Here, I am now teaching kids and having a lot of fun.”

Amie was also a teachers assistant for the fitness and health class at MIU where shea learned how important it is to have fun while doing physical activity. She explains “having fun motivates students that don’t feel comfortable to feel comfortable. In my P.E class I try to make sure my students are happy and excited while doing an activity because having total wellness is the main purpose of my classes.”

alumni teaching yoga

Teaching our students to do tree pose. 

Teaching with covid

While teaching during covid can be difficult, I imagine teaching a physical education class would pose many obstacles to overcome. Amie says, “To be honest, it is very challenging sometimes because most students forget that we are in the middle of a pandemic. Sometimes, when they are having a lot of fun, the students just want to touch and connect with their friends, but we can’t do that in these difficult times. We play sports that involve touching, so sometimes we have to get really creative with activities just to make it more 2020 friendly without physical contact.” Teaching the kids at Maharishi School brings Amie so much joy and we are so lucky to have an alumni like her to focus on the health and well being of our students!

To learn more about our academics or to contact a member of our admissions staff, click here.

Find out about our school events and student life, follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Why is STEM education important?

What is STEM

Why is STEM important?

STEM education helps break the traditional gender roles by increasing the amount of women and minorities that are able to access STEM-related careers.

“In the 21st century, scientific and technological innovations have become increasingly important as we face the benefits and challenges of both globalization and a knowledge-based economy. To succeed in this new information-based and highly technological society, students need to develop their capabilities in STEM to levels much beyond what was considered acceptable in the past.” –National Science Foundation

STEM at Maharishi School

I got to speak with Kaye Jacob who is both a teacher and academic director of the Middle and High school students here at Maharishi School. Her thoughts on STEM skills are that they need to be seen as ends in themselves but for most students they are means to an end.  In other words, knowing how to use technology to access information and incorporate it into your life and work is essential to any student.

kaye jacobs talks about STEM

Kaye Jacob

“The S in STEM is apparent when the 7th graders drop containers out of windows to see if the egg inside will break or not–and equally when the upper school rocketry students send a rocket up into the air with the same objective–to protect the “payload” (an egg) which actually represents a human being in space travel.
I am writing this in my English class as three students are collaborating from their homes (one of them in Ecuador) in a Zoom break-out room and the rest are working in small groups on presentations for class tomorrow. They are sharing documents and resources related to a literature topic (Transcendentalism) but updating it with videos and powerpoint presentations.  To me, that is the T in STEM applied to my subject area.
I also like to emphasize that STEM should actually be STEAM, because the A needs to represent Art.  This year, we are offering traditional studio art with Susan Metrican to our Upper school students and also a more technical course in digital photography with Camille Morehead, who has a graphic design background.  We are hoping to combine forces with various applications of technology and art design in the future.”
To learn more about our academics or to contact a member of our admissions staff, click here.

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Have You Heard Of Green Organic?

The boarding meals at our school will make you drool

maharishi school alumni brea hallen

Whitney Kemac and Brea Hallen

Maharishi School boarding students have been eating in style with seasonal, vegetarian, meals delivered to them by Green Organic. Green Organic is a local and sustainable catering service created out of Fairfield, Iowa. They provide regularly scheduled meals with the convenience of delivery right to your door!

Green Organic has a passionate commitment to sourcing fresh, organic and local ingredients.  Green Organic is dedicated to seasonal cuisine and sustainable lifestyle. They’re doing their part to improve the environment by utilizing reusable glass containers, wooden boards for catering and reusable bags.

The founder, Whitney Kemac and sous chef, Brea Hallen (who is also a Maharishi School alumni) have answered some questions about catering to our boarding students. You can find more pictures of their delicious food on their Instagram @greenorganicfairfield.

How did you come up with the idea for Green Organic?

boarding meals

Green Organic started when all the restaurants in Fairfield shut down during COVID 19. A family friend posted an ad in the Next Door App looking for homemade meals. Having just moved to Fairfield in December and looking for work, this was something I was excited about and could do while taking care of two young children.

I was able to cook and deliver homemade meals with my kids and maintain minimal contact with my client.  I created a versatile menu of organic ingredients, based on the client’s taste and using whatever I could find from the empty grocery aisles. I created signature sauces, dishes and recipes that would be delicious and healthy-using local ingredients I was able to source during a time when sourcing food was a little scary.

I asked if the client wanted it in some sort of Tupperware and he said “Oh, no no don’t put it in plastic”, so I delivered in a reusable glass container the client could just clean and set out at the next delivery time.  Very quickly my experience with hospitality and culinary arts, love and passion for food came through in the dishes- and word of mouth set off a chain reaction.  I now deliver for 30 special clients, honoring their dietary restrictions the best I can. I am so grateful to have found an amazing team who have come together and believe in the future of Green Organic.

What sort of meals do you have planned for the boarding students?

green organic meals

Our Catering Manager & Sous Chef Brea Hallen and I meet together, test and brainstorm new dishes and flavors we think all would enjoy. The students receive meals from our Fall Menu which you can also check out on our website www.GreenOrganicFairfield.com as well as additional meals we come up with that we think they would enjoy.  They also receive an organic dessert on Thursdays which is fun!

Where do your ingredients come from for those meals?

We source produce from Bob’s Barn (who sources special organic bulk produce for us), Stout’s Market, Fairfield Farmers Market, RPA Garlic Farm, Jorge’s Organics, Tim’s Garden at 8th & Grimes, our Greenhouse at the Depot, our family and friend’s gardens/backyards, Hyvee & Everybody’s Whole Foods.  Foraging is a constant process, but our mission is to support local farmers and work with seasonal, fresh ingredients.

We have a very culturally diverse group of students in the boarding program, do you plan on green organicexperimenting with meals from all over the world to accommodate this?

Definitely, creating a multicultural culinary experience is REALLY important to me.  Since moving from New York City where you can really get that experience right at your fingertips, it was something I missed a lot from my hometown.

The concept for the food is Farm-to-Table World Cuisine, at Green Organic we call it “Farm-to-Door” since most of our meals for Meal Delivery and Catering are delivered. I believe food brings people together and a significant way to connect and learn about different cultures is through food.

Brea and I are working on a little questionnaire for the students to get to know a little more what kind of foods they miss the most from their homes.


Do you feel like Green Organics is gaining support from the Fairfield community?

Green Organic was truly created for the Fairfield community. I honestly never pictured myself becoming a Chef, I don’t have classically trained culinary experience.  But I am very passionate about hospitality and the food/beverage industry.  I am always learning and I am very grateful to have a catering to maharishi boarding studentjob during this time when so many people in the industry are struggling so much.

I was really impressed with how abundantly produce grows in Fairfield coming from a concrete jungle, and my feeling was-Fairfield really needs a Farm-to-Table dining experience.  The delivery option has really seemed essential for many of my clients who either don’t cook, or want to get a break from cooking.  Thank you Fairfield, I am honored to provide you with this service, and I only hope the business continues to grow and reach more of the community.

 

Find out what a day in the life of a boarding student is like, click here.

To learn more about our academics or to contact a member of our admissions staff, click here.

To learn more about school events and student life, follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

To read more about boarding at Maharishi School, click here.

NY Times Article: Dear Teenagers, Here’s How to Protect Your Emotional Well-Being

Teen health is an ongoing conversation that’s so important to have during this unprecedented time. Our teens can feel especially vulnerable and emotionally strained during times of isolation. We love this article written by Lisa Damour posted on the New York Times about teen health that we had to share it with you!

Guidance for teenagers on staying steady in the turmoil of the pandemic.

Following my most recent column offering adults a 2020 back-to-school list for teens’ emotional well-being, several teenage commenters asked that I address them in the same way that I address their parents: “as intelligent people who have the tools to support themselves and their loved ones through this trying time.”

Dear teenagers, you are right. And I’m so glad you asked. Here’s my guidance on what you can do to keep yourself steady in the turmoil of the pandemic.

Make the Most of Your Emotional Superpowers

Teenagers experience feelings more intensely than adults do, both negative and positive ones. While this amplifies the psychological discomfort you’re certainly experiencing right now, it also means that you get more out of pleasures and delights. These days the only bright spots many of us are finding are small ones, and for a lot of adults, these don’t feel very satisfying. But for you, small comforts and joys are more comforting and joyful than they are for adults. So, when your mood needs a lift, make the most of this emotional superpower.

What makes this power work for you will be highly personal. You might enjoy video games, pumpkin spice treats, cuddling your pet, being in nature, listening to music, going for a run or doing something else altogether. The adults in your life might not quite grasp how happy it makes you to watch your favorite movie for the umpteenth time. That’s OK. Just know what gives you a boost right now and enjoy it fully.

Trust Your Feelings

When you are worried, sad, stressed, frustrated or anything else, trust that you are almost certainly having the “right” feeling. I say this because you have been raised in a culture that is unnecessarily fearful of unpleasant emotions and which may have given you the impression that emotional distress invariably signals fragile mental health. This is not true. In upsetting times, feeling upset proves, if anything, that your emotions are working exactly as they should. You are in touch with reality — a painful one though it is — and attuned to your circumstances.

When your mood is good, trust that too. With the world off its axis, you might wonder if it’s all right to let yourself feel at ease. It is. Should you notice that calm emotional waters follow stormy waves of distress, don’t assume that you have somehow lost touch. In all likelihood, you have processed and moved past a painful mood, largely by allowing yourself to have it.

Count on Your Psychological Circuit Breakers

Sometimes we helpfully make room for unpleasant feelings. Other times psychological defenses kick in on their own like circuit breakers to protect us from emotional overload. Though psychological defenses can be problematic, such as when people use denial to ignore a painful truth, they are often healthy and can help us regulate how much of an upsetting situation we take on all at once.

For instance, you might notice that the anger you feel about your disrupted school days gives way to an appreciation for your growing self-sufficiency. Shifting from exasperation to rationalization maintains your connection to what’s happening while reducing the emotional charge. Using humor — say, when you are inspired to find inventive ways to crack up your classmates to manage the sheer frustration of sitting through online classes — works the same way. Here’s the point: Your mind is built to help you through this hard time. Put stock in its ability to keep your emotional current at manageable levels.

Have a Basic Plan for Mental Health Maintenance

Plenty of sleep and physical activity will improve your mood, reduce your stress, and increase how much you like yourself and other people. Enjoy the company of people who soothe and energize you. Steer clear of those who leave you feeling stirred up or spent.

Distribute your mental energy with care. So much will go sideways this year, and you have every right to resent the challenges and frustrations of Covid-19. Allow yourself time to be upset. Then try to direct the bulk of your energy toward that which you can control. What kind of friend do you want to be this year? What do you want to learn and get better at? What can you do to support others? Focus on what remains within your power, because exercising that power will help you feel better.

Understand When to Worry

If distress is to be expected, when is it time to worry? A first reason would be if your unwanted emotions start to feel like bad roommates: constantly around and taking the fun out of everything. It’s one thing if sadness, anxiety, irritation, outrage or grief stop by for a visit. But it’s another if they move in or linger for more than a day or two.

A second reason for concern would be if you find yourself routinely using unhealthy strategies to numb or contain painful feelings. Avoiding everyone, being cranky all the time, misusing substances, or sacrificing sleep to binge on social media may bring relief in the short term but create bigger problems down the line.

Finally, you should be worried if you feel you might harm yourself or do not feel safe in some other way. Should you be concerned about your own well-being, or that of a friend, reach out to a trusted adult. Tell a parent, a counselor at your school, or any other grown-up you can count on to take the situation seriously and mobilize the proper supports.

These are incredibly difficult times that are emotionally taxing for everyone. But teenagers should not underestimate the value of their own special strengths. Understanding, harnessing and protecting your mental health resources will serve you well now, and for the rest of your life.

 

Maharishi School Children’s House

preschool childrens house elyse soaresDid you know the preschool incorporates Montessori & Positive Discipline?

Welcome to the Maharishi School Children’s House! In this blog you will find some basic information as well as new and updated protocols regarding preventative measures against Covid-19 in the preschool.

The preschool offers multi-age classrooms consistent with the Montessori pedagogy. The toddler class consists of children who are 18 months to 3 years old. The 3-5 class includes children aged three to six which include Preschool and Pre-Kindergarten.

The cornerstone of your child’s social-emotional growth focuses on supporting each child in becoming self-aware, autonomous, contributing members of our world. The Montessori Method and Positive Discipline go hand-in-hand in developing these important skills in our school community. In the Children’s House and also in grades Kindergarten through 2 in the lower school, Positive Discipline is practiced by all teachers. The building blocks of Positive Discipline are:

  1. Mutual respect
  2. Understanding the belief behind the behaviorpreschool children's house montessori
  3. Effective communication
  4. Understanding a child’s world
  5. Discipline that teaches rather than punishes
  6. Focusing on solutions rather than punishment
  7. Encouragement
  8. Children do better when they feel better
  9. Connection before correction
  10. Contribution

Lynn Shirai is the Director of the Children’s House as well as the Lower school. In her monthly newsletter to the parents Lynn comments, “As the new Children’s House director I am happy to report that all is running smoothly. The children are happy, mask-wearing, Montessori learners that are finding joy in being with their friends and teacher-guides every day. Dr. Beall, our school co-head, visited the classrooms last week and was so impressed with the children as they were very naturally wearing masks indoors while busy with their Montessori activities.”

Taking precautions in the preschool

When entering the school area all children will get their temperature taken, temperatures at 100 degrees or higher will be sent home.

mask wearing children maharishi schoolMasks

Teachers will be required to wear masks while inside, or while down on children’s level outside. Face shields are recommended, especially for toddler teachers. Masks will be required while inside for all children 3+. Masks will not be required for children under 3.

Hand washing 

hand washing maharishi school coronavirus

Child size bathrooms in the preschool.

Children will wash hands upon arrival, before and after eating, when entering from outside, when seen with hands in mouth/nose, and a minimum of every 2 hours. Washing is completed with soap and water for 20 seconds.

Social distancing

Drop off times are arranged by class so that there are no traffic jams between parents and children. Transitions into the school house for class will be staggered to avoid congestion in the hallways.

Changes to the environment

The children each have a cubby where they can store their shoes and backpacks. Cubbies will be outside of the classrooms in the hallways so children do not enter the classroom with outside shoes and backpacks. There is only one child per table in all classrooms, unless the table is very large. The classrooms with ages 3 and up will have sanitizing stations for the children to clean their own work, under adult supervision as needed. Water and soap will be used for plastic, metal, and glass materials and natural disinfectant spray for wooden materials. When a toddler completes a work, they will return it to a special shelf to be cleaned between use. A teacher will sanitize the work items and return them to the shelves with available work.

maharishi school montessoriThe protocol for Maharishi School’s Children’s House was created with reference to DHS requirements and CDC recommendations, and with approval from IDPH

To find out how more about the Children’s House, click here.

Please contact admissions@maharishischool.org immediately to get started on your application and schedule an interview today!

Montessori & Maharishi’s 16 Principles of Consciousness Based Learning

Have you heard of the 16 Principles of SCI?

Explore maharishi montessori preschoolAt Maharishi School our students have a unique interdisciplinary course called the Science of Creative Intelligence where they see underlying, universal principles that are common to the structure and functioning of life—their academic subjects, in nature, and in themselves. For example, we see how life is structured in layers: whether in the earth’s crust, our government, the analysis of literature, a math theorem, or one’s family and personality.

This is one way Maharishi School cultivates vertical thinking: making connections between all the details on the surface of life with the big ideas at their basis. In the table below you will see comparisons made with each individual principle and aspects of the Montessori education.

SCI and Montessori

SCI is implemented differently at various grade levels. Our Kindergarten through 2nd grade teacher Susan Harper has explained each of the sixteen principles in reference to aspects of the Montessori style education.

Maharishi SCI Principles                                         Susan Harper Montessori

The Nature of Life is to GrowWe encourage the child to learn and grow in every way.
Order is Present EverywhereThe Montessori classroom is very ordered. The materials are presented and displayed in the order of the scope and sequence of their use. Each lesson has a particular sequence that is followed to complete the task.
Life is Found in LayersEach lesson builds on the next. Seemingly unrelated materials prepare the child for things to come.
Outer Depends on InnerA child’s outer persona is determined by his inner feelings. We teach the whole child, inside and out.
Water the Root to Enjoy the FruitWe prepare the children for life. They will one day be in charge and we will depend on them to take care of us.
Rest and Activity are Steps of ProgressRest is crucial for our children to progress, grow and learn!
Enjoy Greater Efficiency and Accomplish MoreFinding joy in learning ignites a spark that leads a rich life.
Every Action has a ReactionEach child has power in the universe, our words, actions and deeds have power.
Purification Leads to ProgressBeing healthy in mind, body and spirit is important.
The Field of All Possibilities is the Course of All SolutionsWe choose our destinies.
Thought leads to Action, Action leads to Achievement, Achievement leads to FulfillmentThe process of working brings satisfaction.
Knowledge is Gained Inside and Outside We internalize information/knowledge and then we share it.
Knowledge is Structured in ConsciousnessThe world is as we are.
Harmony Exists in DiversityThe Montessori classroom is the inclusive classroom, each child is appreciated for his/her gifts.
The Whole is Contained in Every PartIn Montessori we teach the whole child. Whole child education understands the connections between the body and mind.
The Whole is More than the Sum of its PartsOur classroom community is a special place for children.

Montessori and the whole child

Dr. Maria Montessori talks about education for the whole child, this directly correlates with the concepts behind teaching Maharishi’s 16 Principles because there is no fragmented or compartmentalized knowledge montessori classroom at maharishi schoolin a child’s education.

For example in Montessori style of education incorporates both left brain and right brain learning, and values it equally, “Intelligence is not preferred over physical or spiritual development, and the emotional health of the child is at the forefront.” This idea is discussed in depth at the Spring Stone Montessori School. Whole child education engages the child by appealing to his/her natural curiosity and showing the purpose behind learning.

Together the 16 Principles of SCI and Montessori focus on the child as a fully formed human being rather than a blank slate. We appreciate and respect that a child is capable of all possibilities and that knowledge is intrinsic in each child.

To learn more about our academics or to contact a member of our admissions staff, click here.

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School in the Time of a Pandemic

Things are different this year…

sanitize hands students 2020 coronavirus pandemic

Students using hand sanitizer before each class.

It’s two weeks into the 2020 school year at Maharishi School and the students are just starting to settle into

their new way of learning in a pandemic. For some that means social distancing and wearing a mask inside the classroom with their peers, for others that means staying home and logging into Zoom on the computer.

We currently have 72% of our student population in person, who get their temperature taken each day, sanitize their hands before stepping into the classroom and wear masks while inside the building.

How do the kids feel?

indie in school learning kindergarten during pandemic

Indie Picard

I’ve gotten feedback from several parents and students about what they’re going through with this new hybrid learning. Emmy Auge is the mother of Indira Picard, a 5 year old who just started Kindergarten and is doing in-class learning.

 “Indie is doing better with her mask than I anticipated, she’s definitely understanding the safety precautions of wearing it. Her class size is so small that it seems less scary for her than if she was in a class of 20 or 30 kids. I’m happy with her being in school because I know she missed the stimulation and routine of school. Seeing her friends, even if it’s from a distance, is so beneficial for her happiness.”

Lily Fenton is 16 years old, in 11th grade and participating in both in-class and online learning, here she talks about these changes;

lily in school and online learning during pandemic

Lily Fenton

    “I’m doing well with in school learning, although it is weird having half of my class online. I like having a schedule and a place where I can have face-to-face connections. Before coming to school in-person, I thought that online school was my preference, however, I have found that I am more productive when I have the feeling of physically going somewhere. Additionally, during our first days of school, I thought that the masks and new protocols were hard to deal with because it was something I was not used to. Now, the masks and protocols have reached normalcy and have integrated well into my day to day life.”

 

What’s it like learning online?

Natalie Kahiu is 9 years old in 4th grade and her mother Mala Markowitz talks about how she’s currently doing with online learning;

      “Natalie wakes up enthusiastic and eager to learn remotely from the comfort and ease of home. She loves to go outside in her new

natalie online learningneighborhood during recess or writing to reflect on the world around her. She likes to draw and write about what she sees. So much to learn! She loves remote learning. Her next big adventure is global learning where she gets to travel in an RV and move around from state to state learning about different cultures, food and people. She wants to study anthropology in college and she wants to be an anthropologist when she grows up.”

Return to learning during a pandemic

At Maharishi School we believe that in-person schooling is the priority for the holistic health and development of our students. In-person education allows greater social-emotional experience with peers and teachers, more hands on learning, and more easily facilitated group projects.

We are still accepting applications for the 2020-2021 school year. Our Admissions Team is available to connect and we encourage you to reach out to us at admissions@maharishischool.org

To learn more about how Maharishi School has responded to the coronavirus pandemic, click here.

To learn more about our academics or to contact a member of our admissions staff, click here.

To learn more about school events and student life, follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

NY Times Article: The 2020 Back-to-School List for Teens’ Emotional Well-Being

Forget backpacks and binders. Here are the essentials teenagers will need for the strange school year ahead.

By Lisa Damour

In a sea of Covid-19 confusion, this seems certain: The pandemic will disrupt school this fall. Attending school part-time, sporadically as viral outbreaks allow, or completely remotely may make excellent medical sense. But learning from home, or being constrained by in-school safety protocols, will reduce students’ exposure to the ordinary magic — the woven-in forces that promote healthy adolescent development — that happens at school.

Can parents help compensate for what will necessarily be lost? Yes. Forget the backpacks and binders. Here are the essential supplies teenagers will need for the strange school year ahead.

The healthy adolescent trajectory toward independence involves loosening emotional ties to parents and strengthening ties to peers. This critical transition almost certainly happens best when teenagers can get together in person. While communication technology has been a welcome asset for many adolescents since the pandemic began, a recent survey found that 61 percent of teenagers reported feeling more lonely as a result of the pandemic.

Given that adolescents cannot, at present, count on hanging out with peers during the school day, we should make sure that they still have ways to see their friends. Unfortunately, teenagers often fail to observe social distancing guidelines, even if they start off with the best of intentions. They may need supervision or specific guidance, such as having them meet outdoors or go on bike rides with friends — wearing masks when appropriate.

When teenagers bristle at our rules for socializing, as they understandably will, we can explain that we are not trying to be at odds with them. Rather, we are on their side against the shared enemy of Covid-19. As such, we can also invite and take seriously teenagers’ suggestions about how they might visit with their peers while keeping themselves and others healthy.

Teenagers benefit from spending time with adults who aren’t their parents; it’s not easy to establish independence and take guidance from one’s folks at the very same time. Thankfully, adolescents will accept the same advice from a mentor or boss that they would reflexively rebuff from their parents. And though they can be quick to dismiss praise from their parents on the grounds that we cannot possibly be objective, they’ll take to heart compliments from teachers, coaches and advisers.

But many adults who work in schools are already expressing concern about their ability to make meaningful connections with students online or in classrooms where everyone is wearing a mask and contending with safety rules. So we should look for ways to help teenagers put caring adults in their traffic patterns if they have to miss out on in-person time with the grown-ups they usually see at school.

Now, more than ever, raising children may take a village. Include your teenagers when finding socially distanced ways to spend time with adults they like. Barter mentoring with your friends: Offer to engage their teenager around a shared interest and see if they can do the same for yours. If your adolescent can safely hold a job, volunteer in the community or be active at your place of worship under the watchful eye of a trustworthy adult, help make that happen.

Routines are the best way to ensure that critical needs get met. They are good for everyone, including teenagers. A reliable daily schedule with designated time for learning, leisure, physical activity and sleep promotes overall well-being and reduces the stress of making plans on the fly. Under normal conditions, going to school forces students into routines that usually keep them busy, growing and active. In contrast, during the unstructured time of weekends and summers young people are more likely to use screens, be sedentary, eat poorly and fall into irregular sleep patterns.