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 class. They also take part in school-wide events and celebrations.




Nursery Newsletter

  • Name Days... The Springtime Tradition of a Young Child
    Written by

    About fifteen or so years ago, a Nursery child walked in one morning talking about something she called Name Days... and could we do them? I asked her what Name Days were and what we would do for them. She explained that for Name Days, everyone would get their very own, special day to plan any way they wanted. So how how would we do it? She talked more and well, yes, the other Nurseries thought it sounded really good! They all thought it could involve visits, or hikes, or maybe decorating cookies they made into their own shapes and making other special things like fruit bat caves, and sometimes eating fruit... or cake or pizza! 

    That spring the Nursery did Name Days for the very first time. They loved it. And I saw that it created a very special focus for them as they finished up their year together and talked and thought about the coming newness, changes, and plans that would happen when we headed off into all of our own different summers.

    Over the years, the Name Days celebrations continued to be a fine and fun springtime tradition for the Nursery in which each child has the opportunity to plan the day. The day is theirs as much or as little as they want! Over and over again, what ever they choose, each child is seen and celebrated by the whole group with a special focus… and often in some new ways. All the children become more aware of one another, the group, and their special place in it.

    I think that some of the power and fun of Name Days comes from knowing it was an idea that was invented and brought to the Nursery by a long ago child just about their age. At some point in their process, I get out some of the old charts for them to look at and think and talk about. I know there is a certain feeling of connection with those other children... some of them are in high school or college... or even in the Kindergarten that year... or maybe in the OG or YG! It helps makes them aware of the history and tradition of what we do. All those charts made by children from the years before... it also helps create a sense of continuity with the past and helps spark their own sense of personal time. I know that this is part of the reason that its meaning connects in such a magical way. There is something about the concept that dovetails beautifully with the realities of being a young child, which of course makes some sense since the concept was created and brought to us by a child!

    I also think that some of its power comes from an acknowledgement of who they are, how they’ve grown, what they've done, the group they have lived in and helped to make throughout the year, and of all the other people in it.

    Oddly enough, for the very first time in my Nursery history, this year we didn’t have any repeating Nurseries in the group. So this year there wasn’t anyone who had actually experienced Name Days from the year before to help bring it forward. However, we do have the siblings and cousins of children from the prior year and this gave the other children a strong reference point. Last fall, when we got out various old charts to look at in preparation for our Color Days, Nurseries were curious about the Name Day charts they saw. After I explained a bit, they thought it sounded really good. They immediately put it on their list of things they would like to do.

    Among many other things, these coming weeks will be for getting their last few Name Day ideas and plans down on paper, making the Name Day chart and then using our very interesting and shared and collaborative process for figuring out the schedule of the individual celebrations. (More on that another time.) And then the doing of them as we roll along into spring.

    So many thanks go out to that long ago Nurseryer, and to the other children (and supportive parents!) who have helped it come to life!

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

Mon Apr 03 @12:00AM
Archaeology Residency

Mon Apr 03 @12:00AM
School Resumes

Tue Apr 04 @12:00AM
Archaeology Residency

Wed Apr 05 @12:00AM
Archaeology Residency

Thu Apr 06 @12:00AM
Archaeology Residency

Fri Apr 07 @12:00AM
Conference Day - School Closed

Fri Apr 14 @12:00AM
Conference Day - School Closed

Fri Apr 21 @ 7:00PM - 10:00PM
Scholarship Gala

Wed May 03 @ 2:10PM - 02:40PM
In School Performance: String Quartet- Anansi and the Sky King

Fri May 05 @ 7:00PM - 09:00PM
Older Group and Thirds Spring Musical

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