About Tara

 My experience tailoring curriculum and holistic healing practices has given me the depth of insight into customizing my varied services for the wide range interests of families, teachers and organizations.

This is a unique skill enables me to adapt my background knowledge so that it serves the needs of the individual and collective respectively.

THE SEEDS: How they were gathered

  It began with a dream…

        It was a warm sunny day with a blue sky and full white and curved clouds. A woman wearing a long white dress and upon her head, a bonnet with a yellow ribbon; walked in the light breeze through a prairie towards a large willow tree that had short soft grass and plenty of shade underneath it. She was followed by a large group of families who were all humming the same tune that she sang as she led them to this special place. When they arrived, she turned around. She was ME.

        The families gathered around me and their eyes fell upon me with attention, as I began to tell them a story… I awoke from the dream, tears streaming down my cheeks and I cried out,  “I am a teacher!”  Over twenty years have passed since that night. The declaration came with the dawning of a deep quest that has stirred my soul: If I am to teach, who do I need to become and what qualities must I embody?

       When I was studying education in college, I was taught how to do lessons and how to externally maintain order so that what I would be teaching could be “learned.” I longed for a deeper connection: relationship. This longing was begun to be satiated by one of my college professors who taught a course entitled, Philosophy of Education. She brought to life the journey of philosophers such as John Dewey, Plato and Rousseau. I was moved by Dewey’s concept of learning from and with the children.

      For my teaching practicum, I was in an exceptional first grade public school class where the teacher brought to life the joys of learning and play through his animated stories, imaginative lessons and an environment fully equipped with a sandbox, water play, blocks and a dramatic play area. I noticed very quickly through other intern experiences that this was truly an exception rather than a rule. When the children were contracted by the system, so was I.

     The experience I had in the first grade, during my internship, prompted me to look again for another process of education, by which I found Montessori. Upon entering this environment, my need for more, was met. The environment was calm and relaxed as each child worked with their own choices and as teachers softly engaged with individual children and in small groups. The children were at ease with themselves and the teachers.

      When I left college, I immediately went into Montessori education, where the question; who am I to become? lived more deeply inside as I read Montessori’s lectures on reverence for the environment, the children and humanity, her writings on the spiritual life of the teacher and peace in education. While intrigued by the methodology of her curriculum, I wanted to know what she was feeling. How did she come to trust the children? What was living within her?

        My year long study was entitled Building Blocks for Peace: A study: Foundations for a Peace Curriculum.I spent the year exploring what inner work the teacher needed to do, in order to lead the spirit of the human becoming. Maria Montessori lived in India for 7 years, after leaving Italy at the beginning of WWII when she refused to indoctrinate children to grow up to fight. It was there that she renamed her system “Cosmic Education,” and hence, her life purpose in working with children became one of building a cosmic view of human interaction that would infuse tolerance and love for the earth and all of creation. 

       My desire to discover the deeper meaning of my calling as a teacher, and my yearning for continued self discovery, led me to the study and practice of the life path of yoga; including selfless service, devotional chanting and prayer, asana, meditation and self study. I also embarked on learning about and training in Chinese Medicine, Zen Shiatsu Therapy, Gaia rhythms in accordance with the seasonal cycles of the earth, Reiki, Transformational Breathing, drum circles, woman’s circles, holistic nutrition studies and cooking including: Ayurveda, Macrobiotics, Chinese medicine and food, 5 element theory and food and raw food preparation. Also, turning towards many other alternative healing modalities including a holistic primary care physician and holistic dentistry. 

      My passion for healing had transformed into my path of teaching and healing work with others. It was through my teaching of yoga for adults and children that I arrived to create my first full children’s yoga program at a Waldorf inspired school, in 1997. The school was located at the end of a road on conservation land. The children spent much of their day outdoors communing with nature. Indoors, life was like being at home, which included warm organic grain snacks that were prepared in relation to the planetary correlation to each day of the week. It was enlightening for me as I noticed a merging of both holistic consciousness and spiritual ground for education. It had a soul life of its own that beckoned me to learn. I had not chosen it, but it had chosen me, which seems to be the way, when one embarks on a journey. 

        “Thus, we see that a fundamental issue in teaching and education is the question of who the teacher is. What must really live in the children, what must vibrate and well up into their hearts, wills, and eventually into their intellects, lives initially in the teachers. It arises simply through who they are, through their unique nature, character and soul attitude, and through what the children bring out of their own self development. So we can see how a true knowledge of the human being, activated into embracing everything, can be the single foundation for a true art of teaching and fulfill the living needs of education.”

                                                                  -Rudolf Steiner-

        The immersion and study in varied roads of education, which span out from the workings of other great philosophers and approaches was part of a three year project I was contracted to do for writing a pilot for a Holistic School (nursery through eighth grade). The project involved curriculum development by synthesizing the heart of many approaches to the field of education including, public school, Montessori, Waldorf, Quakers, Sufi’s, Yogic approach, Reggio Emilia and the Free School approach amongst many others. Also included architectural layout of the school building, grounds and classrooms, festival and community planning, specialty class planning and teacher enrichment. 

          Tara’s FORMAL EDUCATION

Simmons College, Boston, Ma:
BA Early Childhood Education  1991 (nursery through grade 3)                      

New England Montessori Teacher Education Center Boston, Ma.

Pre-primary (N-K) 1992: 
Year Long Study: Peace and Education

Waldorf Foundations Course, Lexington, Ma. (2 years) 2005
Antioch Graduate University, Keene, NH. (3 years) 2009                     

M.Ed. Concentration: Waldorf Early Childhood and Elementary Ed.      

 • Supervised Independent Study (Elementary Ed.): The Rhythmic Life of the Healthy Waldorf Teacher, 2007

Supervised Independent Study (Early Childhood Ed.): Why do Children need to Play, 2008

Master’s Thesis: The Curative Approach to Autism, 2009

Yoga Teaching with adults and Children,
see www.floweryoga.com

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