How important is the relationship between parent and child? Foundational, right? No relationship could be more important perhaps. Next in line might be a child's relationship with her teacher. Children spend upwards of 7 hours per day at school; the people they spend time with most, even simply as environmental factors, have an effect. Of course, to most, this will seem so obvious as to have you questioning why we are devoting space and time to it here. Yesterday there was an article in the NYT Well section about how having time, even a few moments, with a "nice" doctor can significantly shift patients' experience of pain and potentially the outcome of their illness. Researchers from Stanford want us to know that how doctors treat patients actually matters. Perfunctory doesn't cut it. I'd like to suggest that how teachers treat students has an equally potent impact.

The effect on children of a deep connection with their teacher, as opposed to experiencing a transactional relationship, even for the moment it takes to shake hands (or wash them in the early childhood rooms) and be seen and acknowledged, really matters. This connection sets the tone for the day and helps students ride the waves of school and life from small irritations with classmates to the challenge of grasping a new concept, to difficulties at home.

Children with this deep connection to their teacher "heal" more quickly and experience their day as more positive overall - even when circumstances are challenging. Maybe Stanford has not yet done this study, but we see the results every day in our classrooms as Ms. Kaori, and every other faculty member, works to build and deepen relationships with each child in our school. And this is how your children will grow up making relationships with others as well, which warms our hearts. This is just one piece of how your investment here and now impacts the future of the world.

-Jennifer Chace

New York Times: Can a Nice Doctor Make Treatments More Effective?



Saturday, Jan. 26

10am - 2pm

This weekend spend a day in the garden with fellow New Amsterdam families and faculty! New friends and old will be there. Experiencing the outdoors, especially a familiar spot, throughout the year gives us a connection to the cycles of the seasons. What happens in nature during the colder months of winter? What might I find needs tending to during January that is different from what I take care of in August? Where is the beauty here when the leaves are all gone? Come experience the magic of El Jardin in winter while deepening relationships and commitment to our neighborhood treasures!


Apple Village

Mochi Pounding Festival

Did you know that every other Sunday our school building is taken over by a Waldorf-inspired Japanese school? If you come in the front door, you'll see dozens of tiny shoes lined up parallel to the front desk and you'll see unfamiliar, yet welcoming, faces at the front desk. If you are lucky you might spot Ms. Kaori. Apple Village (a reference to the Big Apple in our small village) has classes for toddlers through the early grades and each year they invite our families to join theirs for the Japanese New Year Mochi Pounding Festival. It is quite an event that we highly recommend, with a puppet show, new year’s activities, and a Japanese book fair.

Sunday, Jan. 27

11:30am - 1:45pm

$15 per family

Upcoming Parent Evenings

Juniper, Willow, & Maple
Wednesday, March 13

Louise deForest will join all three early childhood lead teachers on the topic of "Setting Boundaries."

Grades 1, 2, & 3
Wednesday, March 20


Coffee Friday
Friday, Jan. 25

Good coffee. Good conversation. Downstairs after drop-off.

El Jardin Community Day
Saturday, Jan. 26

Bring your family to El Jardin for community gardening and open play. No gardening experience necessary.

Mochi Pounding Festival!
Sunday, Jan. 27

Grades Parent Discussion Q&A w/Jody Spanglet
Friday, Feb. 1

Jody Spanglet, school director of the Ashwood Waldorf School in Maine, will share the benefits of a mixed age grades classroom. All grades parents and rising first grade parents are invited to join.

NO SCHOOL - Professional Development Day
Tuesday, Feb. 5

NO SCHOOL - Professional Development Day
Monday, Feb. 11

Parent/Faculty Talent Show
Thursday, Feb. 14

Winter Recess (SCHOOL CLOSED)
Monday, Feb. 18 - Friday, Feb. 22

Kim John Payne


“The Overwhelm of Boys”

A Lecture at New Amsterdam School

Save the Date: Thursday, March 21 at 7pm


Did you know that your Amazon purchases could be raising funds for our school? Shop through Amazon Smile to easily help our school:

1. Go to

2. Choose New Amsterdam School as your selected charity

3. Shop as normal and a percentage of what you spend is automatically donated to our school! 

Belle Savransky