Callie Hargett Archer, one of Ms. Karen's Montessori students at the Ogden School location, stirred these strong memories of this young learner: "Unforgettable. Every morning, this joyful little girl entered the preschool classroom eager to learn, with a smile on her face as if she knew that this was going to be her best day EVER! Having recently reconnected with Callie, it is obvious that this attitude has not changed."
As educators there are some truths that we know for sure, but to hear from Callie that "she credits her early childhood hands-on, experiential learning foundation for teaching her how to be adaptable, a problem solver, throughout her life...in short, the affirmation just can't get any better. Just as she had to do in preschool when presented with an obstacle, she refuses to accept failure and, instead, looks for other possible solutions until she is successful." Teacher reflections cemented this conclusion: "A child in a Montessori preschool classroom gains independence through hands-on lessons of practical life and more, and learns to be a member of the classroom "community". Callie, through Junior Achievement, is now providing tools and opportunities for children, Kindergarten through high school, preparing them to become successful, productive members of society."
The words below capture the student's precious memories about that magical old Ogden School stage where Country Music Hall of Fame legends, Lester Flatt and Earl Scrugg, along with the Foggy Mountain Boys some time performed on their way to and from the bigger lights of Nashville. Callie, please take the stage and tell your story:
Hi Miss Karen (I just can't help it), Below are some of my memories from TLC! Please let me know what questions you have. Most of my earliest memories in life are from The Learning Center when it was in the old Ogden School. I would have been between 2-4 years old when I attended this school. I vividly remember walking into that brick building, putting my things in a cubby and then so many of the activities that we did there on a daily basis. I remember endless amounts of playtime with friends, learning real-life skills, and spending time in nature! Some of my favorite indoor activities were pouring sand from one container to the other; a board that allowed us to practice buckling and tying shoe laces, fastening various things, snapping things together, using buttons, etc.; easels and art supplies readily accessible, and containers full of colored water that we could pour, scoop or use a turkey baster (I think) to move the water from one container to another. When the weather would allow we moved the learning outside. I remember jumping in puddles, picking flowers, finding leaves to bring back inside to do a color rub on or laminate in contact paper. My mother still to this day has sycamore balls that were collected outside of the Ogden school, taken inside and dipped in glue and then multi-colored glitter that still hang on her Christmas tree every year! The nature walks were one of my favorite activities that we did. I specifically remember walking down the creek a bit and going to see a beaver dam that had been built. I don't know if it was on that trip or another one but we crawled into a culvert one walk and learned about rain water and drainage. The teachers there were constantly building students up and empowering them to solve problems for themselves, share with others and clean up after ourselves. I don't ever remember crying or anyone at the school being unhappy or upset. Utopia for toddlers, maybe?? I still keep in touch with several of the friends that I made back in the Ogden School days. I am sure that all of the things I mentioned above, plus singing songs up on the stage in the old auditorium is what bonded us for life! To transition a bit, what I do now as President for Junior Achievement actually is a cool continuation in the learning-by-doing educational model. Junior Achievement of East Tennessee is a regional nonprofit organization and the premier school system advisor and implementer of equitable, scaled and sequenced future-readiness curricula and experiences. We partner with school systems and private schools to bring our unique programming to every student from elementary school through high school. We engage local business leaders in meaningful and authentic interactions with students. Together, we inspire and impact over 20,000 students in the East Tennessee region every year. It is our mission to give students control over their own lives, futures and careers with ground-breaking experiential education in financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship. Here is a quick little video of our JA BizTown experience which is our signature program for 4th, 5th & 6th graders! https://youtu.be/TjU9E6_QWMQ Callie J. Archer | President Junior Achievement of East Tennessee, Inc. 2135 N. Charles G. Seivers Blvd. | Clinton, TN 37716 865.457.2461 | 865.323.7751 email@example.com Follow us: Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | jaeasttennessee.org Junior Achievement of East TN | Inspiring Tomorrows™