Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Houston Montessori Institute

It was past time for a visit to Loyola's newest AMI training partner, the Houston Montessori Institute, located at the gorgeous Post Oak School in the city's Bellaire neighbourhood. I remedied that condition this past week.

My schedule included meeting Mirani Smith, one of the HMI trainers and the Early Childhood Director at the Post Oak School. I also convened with the 2015 cohort who will complete their AMI training next summer before they make the pilgrimage to Loyola to finish their Master's degree in 2016 - what a delightful group of students!

My visit corresponded with an Open Session for the next multi-summer Primary cohort starting up this summer. Lot's of interest! Exciting times in Houston.

But the visit would not have been complete without a comprehensive tour of Post Oak with their Head of School, John Long, a delightful gentleman and a true thought leader in the Montessori Community. John could not have been more gracious with his time, and it was a pleasure to see a Montessori School so advanced in it's planning and vigorous in its practice. I believe the kinds of developmental high school models emerging at locations such as Post Oak will truly be the vanguards of education in the next 50 years.

Houston itself was a bit of a surprise to me, more cosmopolitan than I imagined, with a terrific museum district that the Post Oak students frequent. However, I don't mean to imply that I saw anything near the city's extent. As with everything "Texas Sized" (including my order of scallops) it's a 50 mile journey from one end of the city to the other, so there's more to see.

And speaking of site seeing, a word of caution, when the gentleman at the Derek Hotel tells you that it is impossible to walk from the Galleria District to Bellaire, while carting a fancy little knapsack over your shoulder and dressed in dress shoes and a tie, you would be wise to believe him. An hour into my walk-about, attempting to circumnavigate 15 lanes of freeway traffic as the Houston humidity came out in full force; I had visions that Houston might indeed be my final resting place. But not so, I made it - and if I was the first to do so, I will add it to the growing list of impetuous world's records I hold driven by my foolish need to say - nah I can do that!

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