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

  • Purple, Brown, and Harvest Time
    Written by

    We had a fine and busy week celebrating purple and brown. On Monday, we had Purple Cow which almost everyone liked. On Wednesday we baked (and ate) what we called "brownie cake muffins," with a gluten free mix and four eggs... since there were four egg crackers... Nursery recipes are always delicious! Nurseries made purple playdough by kneading together red and blue. There was lots of making and wrapping of presents for friends and family all week long. 

    The rains arrived just in time on Thursday for some good brown mud. We gathered walnuts still in their coats of green on Friday… you may have had a bag or two come home with you!  And then we finished up the week on Friday afternoon with Grandfriends Day!

    Ben continues to play his music in the Nursery... and at Grandfriend's Day for the entire school community also! In the Nursery, he will often play piano to support and focus the play or to switch the energy of the room or to foster the dance. He has also begun to work individually in a very organic way at the piano with any children who are interested. Last week he played the background beat, chording on the left for individual Nurseries. I watched one child spontaneously add in the right hand, playing around and then falling into the beat, sometimes repeating his spontaneous melody. I could watch and hear him making his own musical discoveries as he and Ben interacted.  

    There were many good meetings as the children get more and more practice and comfort with the concept of setting times with one another, telling a friend they aren't comfortable or listening to a friend say the same… which can be even more difficult. What will also come more and more to all of them is the give-and-take necessary so they can solve a problem together and have their play continue on smoothly without the interruption of a lengthy meeting. Among other things, the Nursery is their social laboratory for discovery... plus their understanding of the intricacies and responsibilities of living in the world of their peers. As much as they are all drawn to this, it is hard work and I know they must be tired when they get home!

    The children and I have begun to talk about our trip to the Peifer's Orchard later on this month. It's scheduled for an Orange Day, of course. On the morning of October 24th, we will all climb aboard the hay wagon that John Peifer has hitched to his tractor for a ride down to one of the pumpkin patches. Each child will get to pick a pumpkin that he or she can carry back to the wagon. We will also stop along the way so each child can pick an apple for the ride back. It makes a lovely harvest experience for the children and also a gentle contrast to all of the intensity and excitement (and for these ages… sometimes real scariness) of Halloween.

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 Nov 03 @ 6:00PM - 08:00PM
Harvest Soup Supper

Tue Nov 21 @11:45AM -
Thanksgiving Feast

Wed Nov 22 @ 8:30AM - 03:30PM
Thanksgiving Holiday

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