Director's Note: May 2013

Note: The Featured Image of this post is a photograph of poet Anne Spencer’s garden in Lynchburg, VA. Spencer was an extraordinarily influential poet and activist, and drew lifelong inspiration from gardening. Her poem, known by its first line, “Earth, I thank you,” was likely composed as she looked out over her carefully tended beds of flowers.

Earth, I thank you

for the pleasure of your language

You’ve had a hard time

bringing it to me

from the ground

to grunt thru the noun

To all the way

feeling seeing smelling touching


I am here!

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Video: A Visit to the TMS Garden

To the Families of TMS,

In this last note before summer break, I just want to thank you all for a wonderful year! As we’ve been looking over photos and videos taken throughout the year, it is astounding how much the children have grown and changed over that time. Students have become readers, math enthusiasts, avid observers of insects or trees… In short, they are joyful learners.   They have also honed their ability to observe one another, and from that comes the growth of their social awareness and comfort.

In recent years, great strides have been made in our understanding of the neurological and psychological changes of childhood. Yet, as the scientific literature is presented to a popular audience, there is a risk of tapping a vast reservoir of parental worry.  Magazine articles and books often depict the early years as though they were a part of a ladder, fixed and predictable.

But childhood, that time of such extraordinary change, is far more like a garden. Those bursts of new growth arrive in a well-cultivated and tended plot when many factors combine and the plant is ready for that next phase. Children, when they are provided an environment where their natural curiosity can propel them into exploration and meaningful work, often burst with new skills at surprising times. Like a gardener arriving to water the plants one morning and finding that the waiting is over and blossoms have opened, so do parents discover their child’s skills flowering overnight — weeks, months, even years of preparation leading to an amazing moment.

On behalf of all of us here at TMS, may you and your family have a delightful summer, filled with surprises and joy.


Image: detail of photo at

tmsDirector's Note: May 2013