Mind Mapping

On Thursday, January 25th, we held another Parent Education night, and the topic was “Mind Mapping”, with Cindy Van Heyst as our esteemed speaker.

Cindy has performed this exercise twice with the 9-12 class and we wanted to update all parents on the importance of continuous learning, and how a Montessori education can translate into the various aspects outside of school.

Over 20 families attended, and it was great to see this dedication and support from our families.

First, Ms. Amanda reminded us all that at the crux of Montessori education, was Dr. Maria Montessori’s belief that learning is stimulated by the Hand and the Brain.  Cindy then proceeded to tie the essence of Montessori education with Executive Functioning, via Mind Mapping.

Montessori Education and Executive Functioning were similar in that, they taught through concentration, organization, planning, predicting, strategizing and presenting – with self control and goal directed behavior.

Cindy started with a brief recap of how our 9-12 class reacted to this exercise.  Apart from the “hand/brain” methodology experienced by our students, and the concept of continuous learning, the overall experience was summed up by one student “Wow – it’s like traveling into and through our thoughts”!

Cindy spoke about the lack of grades at our school, and yet – when her oldest child took her first standardized test, she asked “Where’s the plus”?, after scoring an A!  Maya is now at Tampa Prep School, in 7th grade, after attending our Montessori school through all of the cycles and graduating last May, well prepared for the next phase.

After a brief, stimulating intro into Mind Mapping, we all took out our pens and crayons and large pads of paper and the topic was “Learning”.  The objective was to map out our thoughts and drill down deep into each category.  We had 2 distinguished MCH alumni present (Weston Poe and Victoria Linton-Evans).  They looked charming, yet professional in their school uniforms.  While being very creative in their drawings, it was interesting to see categories such as Reading, Writing, the various classes they take and “fear of failing French” as a thought!  Other parents wrote about various things they’d like to undertake (cooking, language, wine-tasting).  Ms. Cortnie spoke of how she used to be very structured, and now after her time at MCH, her mind-map looked like Picasso himself drew it!

Cindy asked for volunteers to share their maps, spoke of her own experiences in the professional world (including at Microsoft’s campus – where Mind Mapping is regularly performed), and ultimately, how a Montessori education can benefit anyone and everyone at any stage of their life.  A great education for all, and a fun night!  Thank you Cindy!!

Cindy continues to be a strong advocate for our school, and is volunteering for another cutting-edge, innovative topic.  Stay tuned…