Many of my fondest childhood memories take place in Jim's Upper Elementary classroom. From animal research projects to farm-living field trips, Jim's curriculum gave me the skills to be a successful adult. His fascination and excitement for learning spreads to his students.
Maria Montessori once said "We discovered that education is not something which the teacher does, but that it is a natural process which develops spontaneously in the human being." Jim embodies this. He is lead by student's interests and encourages excitement towards exploring your "weaknesses." When I was in his classroom I did not feel as though I was being taught, I felt like I was exploring and learning and had the ability to be my own compass.
Now, as a Montessori educator myself, I understand the work and determination that went into his lesson planning and smooth teaching abilities. My experience in Montessori has given me very useful life skills. My work ethic has been complimented by multiple employers and I thank Montessori for that. This method taught me how to be an independent learner, how to work well on my own and with others, and how to stay motivated and concentrated. Thank you Jim for embodying Montessori's pedagogy so well and for making me the Guide (Teacher) I am today.
As parents of two children taught by Jim and Roberta, we can say with confidence that their decades of classroom experience, combined with their warm and engaged approach make for the best Montessori experience. They truly understand the needs of the child and parent, so both will find lessons easy to follow and to absorb on many levels. Their authentic love of teaching Montessori curriculum comes into the home and inspires the whole family.
Charlie & Sanja B.
Jim and Roberta have been a part of my life for nearly forty years. To say that my experience at Montessori de Terra Linda and the values that Jim and Roberta effortlessly instilled in me, significantly shaped the person I am today is not an overstatement. This is why, 30 years after I graduated from Montessori, they are still mentors and role models. Caring for and feeding the hearts and minds of children and young adults is what the Cummeskys do best, it is their no big deal, like breathing. If I was to trust anyone with the education of my children it would be Jim and Roberta, they take academics very seriously but have a wonderful balance to that of caring for the whole child. Their expertise is unparalleled.
Let me start by saying that I've known Jim and Roberta since I was 2 years old! I was part of their first classes at Montessori de Terra Linda, in Marin County California. I'm now a 40 year-old mom to my 12 year-old son, who also attended a Montessori Toddler and Primary program in Los Angeles.
Jim and Roberta Cummesky are simply put, A GIFT TO EVERYONE who has been fortunate enough to have had them as teachers, and certainly the parents who've had their children guided by them. They are hands down a major part of why I feel like I can succeed in my life, a major part of my development of confidence as a child (and into adulthood), and helped shape my views about how to treat nature and my fellow man. They are INCREDIBLE people and this opportunity for more than just one school of children to be taught by them makes me want to cry tears of joy. They are the embodiment of Montessori education, and I believe that if Dr. Montessori herself was alive she would be so deeply honored to know how many lives Roberta and Jim impacted through her method. You are getting two of the greatest gifts in education and in my humble opinion, this WORLD, has to offer. My love of travel and my ability to be a good single parent, a good friend, and good co-worker, etc, this is directly impacted by Montessori and the Cummeskys . They guided me, through Montessori, to be true to who I am, to take responsibility, to be curious and seek answers, to learn how to survive in the wild, how to run a business, to dig deep into our world history to search for the truths in it and be inspired by what I found. They raised me just as much as my own parents did, and that's not to take away from my parents, but to say that the Cummekys enhanced my life beyond what my own parents had dreamed for me, and both my parents would enthusiastically endorse them and are also deeply grateful for them in our lives.
I wish the magic of the Cummeskys and Montessori for every child and family, and now with this online program, it's a reality. (to see Crissy's full testimonial, click the link)
New Orleans, Louisiana
Roberta and Jim Cummesky have a gift for developing the academic environment to equip students with the proper tools to enable them to seek out, explore, and stay engaged. As a student at their Montessori school, they gave me the opportunity to love learning from very early on. Exploring mathematics, the arts, and language with their hand-on approach allowed me to develop my education into the career I have today. My three children attended a school which Roberta and Jim founded, the education they received set them up for success with confidence both academically and personally. They all are creative, confident, curious, and enjoy learning! I have seen first hand the impact Roberta and Jim are able to make. Their talents as educators should be shared across the world!
San Francisco Bay Area
The best memories I have of my childhood were in Jim's upper elementary class. I remember going on class hiking and camping trips, being awed by the majesty of nature, particularly the incredible redwoods. I remember a special art lesson on creating perspective in drawings and being delighted and fascinated by the new possibilities of his technique. I remember Jim nurturing my writing interest, always willing to sit with me to help me with my stories. I remember Jim gently nudging my talent for math and leading me to discover the pleasures of long division and algebra.
Being a Montessori student gave me a curiosity and tenacity that I've held with me throughout my life. After leaving Montessori, I became a straight-A student in high school and college. My inclination toward math, cultivated by Jim in my formative years, lead me to earn a degree in Computer Science. I am now a successful software engineer, able to use my creativity and logical mind to make things and solve problems. I am also a worldwide traveler and outdoor adventurer, my appreciation of nature and exploration ignited by Jim now fueling my drive to discover the world. I am deeply grateful for my experiences as a Montessori student and for everything Jim and Roberta gave me.