The Nursery

Nursery Picture


Ann Guthrie is the teacher of the Nursery's inquisitive and active 3 1/2- to 5-year-olds. Ann's philosophy is that children are innately curious and that by providing a rich environment that supports self-direction and a sense of wonder, children will learn, grow and develop: They are intrinsically competent learners who want to take on challenge and to master their worlds.

Another foundational belief is that young children learn how to get along with one another, to know themselves and to learn about the world around them through play and playfulness. Their play is seen to be on a continuum from the quite silly to the quite serious. It is understood that they sense the differences and gain from it all. 

The Nursery supports the belief that children learn in different ways and develop at different rates. In all things there is a developmental timescale for children that is respected. A great deal of patience, support and repetition are provided. 

Students in the Nursery have a regularly scheduled time each week for Art & Science with Brian Brogan and Music with Dennis Farmer. They also take part in school-wide events and celebrations.




Nursery Newsletter

  • Mystery, Magic and Discovery
    Written by

    It was hot and dry last week at school! Sand in the air ended up coating sweaty Nurseries with a fine layer of dust by the end of each day. One child made note that when you mix sand and water you get mud.

    Nurseries are busy taking in their worlds… often when they appear to be mostly lost in a haze. They think about what is happening… or what has happened and then try to figure it out. Sometimes, compared to adult analysis, they make what seems to be strange sense of things. If you hang back a bit though, sometimes you can pick-up some amazing outside the box thinking. There is always an individual way to their figuring things out (which I am busy learning from each of them as part of my own process). Their individual ways might be linear or meander and jump from here to there and sometimes it ends up shaped and expressed into what can be described as a metaphor to express the feeling and emotion that surround what they are working to understand in the moment, or, it could something they’ve experienced and are remembering. “Remember when…?”

    One morning on Tire Swing Side, I saw a Nursery child, one of the youngest in the group, leaning down and looking very intently at the ground. I wandered over and started looking with her. She had a small stick and was poking at the ground where there was a patch of scintillating light about 8 inches in diameter. We talked about it.

    It was a display that seemed to be coming out of the ground in some odd way. It was nothing I had ever experienced before and my immediate instinct was to find another stick and poke around with her. The light really did seem to be emerging directly from the ground.

    Because I am a grown up, and by definition with more experience and knowledge and observation hours, I found myself quickly discounting that theory and I started looking up and around and about to try to figure it out in another way! (Of course, more experience and knowledge and observation hours, can also lead you into assumptions and thinking that closes too quickly. It can speed up your thinking, but it can also lead to thinking that’s just more inside the box. It can create limits to your understanding.)

    Anyway, other Nurseries began to appear. They joined us in the marvel and then wound into their own processes of searching out answers. Since I had already discounted my own from-the-ground and from-above hypotheses, I started scanning the Kindergarten window wall that was nearby. There was a lot of discussion with a lot of ideas and a lot of poking at the ground and looking about. Then while looking through the Kindergarten window, I saw the overhead fan cutting the sunlight that was coming in from the skylight… with a pattern that exactly matched the pattern of scintillating light that seemed to be emerging from the ground.

    I said nothing about my discovery, but I did step in front of the source for a moment which stopped the light display. I stepped aside and then I did it over again for just a little bit longer. The Nurseries glanced over and were matching my movements with what they were observing about the light display disappearing and reappearing. Almost immediately I heard one say, “It’s from the sun! It’s from the sun! Look into the Kindergarten room!” There was talk and some quick theories about different kinds of skylights. All of this happened in just a few minutes time and then they were off and onto other things.

    Along with the of the light mystery, it was magic to watch them work!

Read more from Ann's blog...
Ann - Nursery

Ann Guthrie - Nursery

From my earliest, I have been intrigued by the natural world and animal behavior--including human.  Among my ongoing interests are the brain, brain research, individual temperament and personality, child development, social organization of groups, language acquisition, history of  the English language, writing, and words in general.

In many ways an autodidact, I left high school for part of a year when I was 15 to work on a research project which took me to the Kansas City Science Fair and then on to the 1964 National Science Fair-International as a finalist, where I was awarded second place by the American Psychological Association.  I had parents who very much respected personal autonomy, trusted in me, and found ways to support my somewhat quirky and passionate interests which ranged from field study, brown capuchin monkeys, to gymnastics with a lot of other stuff in between.

I did go back to high school and also have a BA from Antioch College in Education with certification K-6.  My post-graduate work is ongoing and mostly of my own design.  Over these past 28 plus years, a good part of it has taken place at the educational laboratory of The Antioch School and in an ongoing collaboration seminar with my colleagues, past and present, who are rare and gifted teachers and profound educational thinkers.

Each year I also have the opportunity to get to know 12 individuals, young children, who bring with them their own unique temperaments, personalities, interests, and learning styles.  I am honored to be part of their process as they learn and grow as individuals, see themselves and one another, and collaborate to create their group.

My husband is a writer whose special interests are music, literature, and history.  Our daughter is an alum of The Antioch School and teaches in the Theater Department at Point Park University in Pittsburgh.

For 3 1/2 - 5-year-olds
8:30 A.M. to 3:00 P.M.
8:30 A.M. to 11:30 P.M.

Upcoming Nursery Events

Fri Oct 18 @12:00AM
Conference Day - School Closed

Tue Oct 22 @ 9:30AM - 11:30AM
Field Trip - Peifer Orchard Tour

Mon Nov 04 @12:00AM

Fri Nov 08 @ 6:00PM - 08:00PM
Harvest Soup Supper

Tue Nov 26 @11:45AM - 02:00PM
Thanksgiving Feast - Early Dismissal

Wed Nov 27 @12:00AM
Thanksgiving Holiday

Thu Nov 28 @12:00AM
Thanksgiving Holiday

Fri Nov 29 @12:00AM
Thanksgiving Holiday

Mon Dec 09 @12:00AM

Contact Ann

If you have a question for Ann, please use the form below to send her an email.

Testimonial of Selah Griffin.

Selah Griffin
The Antioch School 2009-2015

An Older Group student at the time this testimonial was written

Joomla! Debug Console


Profile Information

Memory Usage

Database Queries