Public Speaking Poise

As I sat and watched our K-5 students perform “The Three Piggy Opera” with dsc_1567such amazing confidence, enthusiasm, and “poise” (yes, kindergarteners can have poise), I had to remind myself that these precious children were only five years old!  Yet, they sang beautifully, spoke with clarity, and danced in sync with the most adorable moves!

Much later that night, our sixth grade students mesmerized the audience with captivating scenes from Gothic Fiction stories and went on to read their own stories of this genre.  Full of suspense and eerie happenstance, these Gothic stories were written so well that the audience members continuously remarked that it was hard to believe the stories were the creations of sixth graders!  The ability to engage all audience members as they “acted” and spoke came rather easy to our “Super Seniors” since they have had countless opportunities to “perform” in front of small groups in class and larger audiences on stage!_MG_0206-X3

It is well known that the most common phobia people have is performing in front of an audience — even if it’s a small group of people. Some people dread public speaking dsc_1393even more than death!  Most of us live with this fear throughout our lives. We fail to get proper guidance to overcome our stage fright.  Most schools and colleges do not provide enough or any training on public speaking; consequently, many of us lack the confidence to speak in public when we reach adulthood.

Public speaking is necessary for each one of us irrespective of our age or profession. Public speaking boosts confidence, and as a result, there is a greater chance of succeeding at job idsc_1542nterviews, working on a team, and giving effective presentations or seminars in the workplace. It improves your professional life and your relationship with your colleagues.  As a confident speaker, you will be comfortable “breaking the ice” and starting conversations with strangers, which will undoubtedly expand your social circle and improve your personal life.

Performing or speaking in front of an audience is not an inborn talent, but, rather, a skill that can be cultivated by anyone. It’s true that for some people it comes naturally, but _MG_0265-X2even so, we have to be taught the nuances of performing and be given many opportunities to practice.  I have the wonderful opportunity of seeing your children transform from shy and timid speakers and performers into confident and poised young people who can speak in small social circles or captivate an audience of thousands on stage!

At Park Maitland School, students are given countless opportunities to perform or speak in front of others through the many collaborative projects in the classrooms, curriculum events, and, of course, on our school stage, at the Bob Carr, 2014-10-23-100803(dsc_7540)and this year, at the Dr. Philips Center for Performing Arts!  I’m always so proud to hear how friendly, courteous, and talented our students are even when they go on to high school, college, and beyond!

By Mrs. Cindy Moon

Head of School




Winners in Every Way!

vball1Maya Angelou once said, “It may be necessary to encounter defeats so youvball2 can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” I think that these wise words speak to us as parents and educators as we strive to teach our youth the importance of facing challenge and rising up from it.  It helps our children learn humility, perseverance, and grit.

It is with deep pride that I say that our Park Maitland girls’ volleyball team demonstrated this yesterday.  The steadfastness, determination, grace, and passion that each player showed us all speaks to the quote above.  vball5As you all know, they participated in the playoffs yesterday!  In the playoffs, you must win two out of the 1st three games against your opponent to advance to the finals. Our players gave it their best shot but lost the first game.  The level of play between the two teams was superior.  In the next two games, we were neck and neck.  Our team would gain a few points, only to have their lead taken away by the other team.  Our girls never gave up and went on to play their very best match to win!

In the first game of the finals, perhaps we were over-confident, and we found ourselves behind once again, which led to a loss.  vball6After a powerful and encouraging pep talk from Coach Houman Rassa and steadfastness, determination, pride, and team spirit, the likes of which I have never before witnessed, we went on to win both of the following games… and thus we won the match!

I am proud and honored to say that our Park Maitland Eagles are the league champions!!!  What made this win even more meaningful was the gallant effort put forth by each player (on and off the court) in support of her teammates.  In the final moments of the last game, we tied; then the other vball4team gained a point, but we didn’t give up!  We then gained a point but needed one more to win.  The other team tied again.  This tense play repeated itself over and over until the Park Maitland Eagles pulled it out by two points!

Congratulations, girls, for not only being the champions but for demonstrating the spirit of champions throughout! Thank you Coach Rassa, Coach Allison, and Coach Jennifer for teaching our girls so much more than how to win. Thank you for teaching them how to be humble leaders on the court!



by Mrs. Cindy Moon

Head of School


We Grow Leaders…At Park Maitland School!

The whole-school assemblies at Park Maitland School are led entirely by children! The pre-kindergIMGP1514-Larten (K-4) through grade six students delight in leading fellow classmates in the Pledge to the Flag, the “Star Spangled Banner,” and the school’s beloved Alma Mater. Administrators and teachers are rightfully proud onlookers as their students serve as masters of ceremony or participate in skits; present class creations or describe an exciting, upcoming activity; or as they lead the children in cheers for our wonderful school. Our assemblies are magnificent!

Every child at Park Maitland becomes a leader. His/her growth in personal self-confidence, character, and knowledge is assemblyastonishing. Plus, there are some pretty neat additional benefits, too: a beautifully-rounded curriculum featuring not only academics, but, also, computer skills, physical education, art, music, drama, swimming, Spanish, library, recess, and so much more. Something new and wonderful is the new and improved “SmartTech” class with its dedicated “Maker Space.” This room and all that takes place within it must be seen to be believed! Incredible teachers, well-appointed classrooms, a lovely campus, and genuine kindness and love for children add to the happiness of each young learner.IMGP1477-XL

We know that visitors to our school love seeing the students in their classes and participating in active learning. We invite interested parents (including your friends who might consider Park Maitland for their children) to come visit during the school day if at all possible. Call Kirsten Telan, Admissions at 407-647-3038, ext. 110 to arrange for a personal tour and informational meeting. She can answer all questions!IMG_0614-XL

Mary Margaret Bowen

Vice President, Student & Family Affairs

Face to Face!

After spending almost a full day with our 5th grade students recently during their Camp Wewa overnight experience, I was reminded how truly wonderful it is for our children to experience “technology free,” old fashioned fun with their teachers and classmates!

There is no doubt that we live in an age of limitless discovery and change. Milton Chen in a recent article in Independent School Magazine writes, “In theBlog8C midst of our busy lives, where billions of bits and bytes jostle for attention on our desks and in our pockets and purses, we can all pause for a second and acknowledge that we’re lucky to be living in a unique time in history in which global forces in the early 21st century, enabled by the Internet, have rewritten the rules we lived by in the 20th century – in politics,      economics, and now education. A deep and fundamental cultural change is taking shape in our lifetimes.”

We can all agree that we have crossed another threshold, one that 20 years ago seemed but a glimmer in a futurist’s eye. A new landscapeBlog8F of learning, working, and living is coming into sharper focus. As New York University lecturer and author Clay Shirky says in his marvelous TED talk, “The moment we’re living through [represents] the largest increase in expressive capability in human history.”

While we all agree that the technology that we have at our fingertips will allow our children limitless opportunities, we must also remember that human touch and face to face interaction are vital!

Recent research has shown that in too many homes parents are using computers, iPads, TV, cell phones, etc. as electronic babysitters and that “screen time” has created a three parent family of sorts. By the age of seven, a child born today will have spent a full year glued to screens…an average 10 year old has at least five screens available to them at home. The population’s vast use of iPads, televisions, smart phones, and laptops has been linked to obesity problems and could adversely affect children’s social relationships.Blog8E

Park Maitland strives to remain on the cutting edge of 21st Century teaching as we incorporate the four C’s – creativity, communication, collaboration, and critical thinking throughout our curriculum. We realize that the internet and mobile devices can often be a powerful tool to enhance learning and build upon the four C’s but also know that “face to face” communication and collaboration is vital for children’s development!

Disconnect to connect — At school, our children are given daily opportunities to learn and practice important “face to face” communications skills.  They learn to listen deeply — seek first to undersBlog8Btand by practicing the difficult task of interpreting emotions by watching the faces of other people.  We have revived the well-worn admonishment: “Look at me when I’m talking to you.”  Students practice and learn the importance of eye contact when communicating. Students work together in groups on projects and are challenged to accept advice, listen to others’ opinions, synergize, and compromise.  They are given countless opportunities to present or speak in front of peers.   More importantly, our students are given high levels of face-to-face Blog8Dcommunication on a daily basis in each and every class.  A Stanford study recently released shows that this is associated with greater social success, greater feelings of normalcy, more sleep, healthier friendships, and much more.

So if your “older child” happens to “gripe” that they aren’t allowed to use their iPad during lunch, at Morning Fun Zone, during carpool, or at recess, you can understand why we enforce this rule…or why we have always offered a three month class on “manners” to our 5th and 6th grade students, why students have recess or unstructured play daily, physical education classes 3-5 times a week, a strong emphasis on drama/performing arts, a Maker Space lab, daily morning meetings, and the list goes on and on.  We want our children to be comfortable and speak with confidence in any social situation and have the tools to communicate and show empathy and understanding towards others. All of these experiences help your child to learn important communications skills that will help them not just survive but thrive in the 21st Century!Blog8A

Cindy Moon

Head of School