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The Garden's Noise Preschool

Lea would like to more about a preschool, but an Internet search does not suffice to even dredge up contact details?  Perhaps even better is Asha's write up on The Garden's Noise Preschool, but still no contact information.  Asha?  Anyone?


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I have a call into Michele and will get back to you with more info!

I spoke to Michele and she's thrilled with all the interest. They are full for this Fall, but will be having an open house-type orientation early next year for interested families. I'll be sure to post the info as soon as I find out about it.

Hello Ladies, Sorry i have been out of the loop, my life has been full and i wanted to get back on track with the URban Mamas, does anyone live around the Pearl? Anyone looking to be start a group? I want to take advantage of Jameson and do a play group.. Grab some dogs, cop a squat and let the kids play!!! I was thinking of friday afternoon.. anyone down???


Hello! I am new to Portland and my son's music together teacher told me about The Garden's Noise Preschool. I saw it mentioned on the website and wondered if anyone had experience with this school and had any info on it. Thank you!

I am interested in finding out more about Garden's Noise Preschool run by Michele Miller. I have heard about it from two separate sources and would love to have more information. I saw some old postings regarding the school, but there was no contact info listed. Does anyone know how I can get in touch with Michele?

Amber I can help. Michele Miller Director. |uM note, phone # removed for privacy purposes. Please e-mail one another directly for more info|
Good Luck.

Hi, I can't find info for Garden's Noise and the director's contact information. Can someone share a phone number?
Thanks so much!

I have worked with and for Michele in the past and now am simply an admirer. She has the most incredible way with young children and her program is lovely. I was particularly impressed with the powerful way she taught skills in communication, independence and problem solving as well as the curricular aspects, of course at this age, through science, music and time to play! Dex, google, 411...whatever, find her! If you get a spot, LUCKY YOU!

It's been awhile since anyone has posted about Garden's Noise, so I thought I would just say that for anyone considering sending their child here they should be cautious. This is not an AP friendly school and Michelle is very outspoken about her negative opinion of it. A few of us this year have been very appalled about how she has interacted with us and her approach to dealing with children who have a hard time separating. Other parents are perfectly happy, so it's a good fit for some, but if you have strong opinions about parenting that don't match hers I would suggest looking elsewhere.

I would also have to say that I clearly felt judged for my parenting choices when we were here. I thought there were some wonderful things about the program and the kids are really loved and cared for, but there is a pretty big ego to deal with as well. They base a lot of their advice on a book called Taking Charge, which I would say is, at best, a mediocre parenting book. A lot of it felt kind of old-school and not on the same level as some of the other schools we have seen (i.e. bleach used on the tables every day before lunch so the kids breath in the smell as they eat, chips as a staple for snack, etc.). I'd agree with the previous poster that it's not a very AP friendly school, but has some real benefits to it like the work they do in the garden and the fun art projects.

I loved the experience my son had at Garden's Noise. He experienced art, music, stories, science, gardening, and learned how to get along with other children while he did it. It was the perfect preschool for my desires for my son, which were that he have a fully creative experience while learning to cooperate, appreciate difference, respect others (both children and adults) and support communal harmony. We felt entirely fortunate to have as warm and loving a person as Michelle taking care of our son; I always felt my son was in secure, loving, experienced hands. For our family, Garden's Noise provided children with an ideal balance of love, learning, creativity, personal freedom and communal sharing.

I'm somewhat surprised to read some of the above comments.

We had a splendid two years at the Garden's Noise Preschool. Our child blossomed in their care. While some might consider Michele's philosophies 'old school', I see nothing inherently wrong in this, they are grounded in the reality that our children really do need our guidance, nurturing and direction. My husband and I progressed from being parents who were following our child's lead and became parents who could confidently lead our child. (This also improved our marriage and our relationship with our kiddo.) Consequently, Kiddo felt even more secure and became more confident, because we gave him the message that he was capable on his own.

As a parent, I felt respected, heard, and so appreciated their insights and suggestions. The preschool environment, both inside and out, is beautiful, joyful, full of exploration and imagination and all of the stories the children tell and act out with each other. I never once doubted that they wanted anything other than the best for us and for all of the families there. The warmth and caring the teachers provide makes the children love them that much more. I still miss their smiles and gentle encouragement, and Kiddo still wishes he could go back and play in the garden....

I think Garden's noise is a good place for parents who want guidance with their parenting. Michelle is wanting to help parents "take charge" of their kids and doesn't hesitate to tell them what they "should" do. I had a really awful experience here because it just wasn't a good fit and my daughter suffered greatly. For the majority of families this will be a great place to send their child and their reviews will sound like some of the lovely ones above. However, my experience was the exact opposite and I got to see the (very) ugly side of Michelle because I was forced to stand up for my daughter when I did not agree with her.

We had already been parenting for awhile when we came to Garden's noise and did not believe in letting our kids "run the show." However, it was Michelle's opinion that my daughter's issues with anxiety and separation were due to my parenting, and she didn't hold back from telling me that. Oddly, she never saw me parent or asked me about my parenting and wasn't swayed when I explained that I had an older child that was parented the same way and yet was an extremely confident, outspoken, and social child. Our story is a long one and a very hard one that I am not going to go into, but what is most important to me is that I got to see Michelle when things got hard and it was very ugly. In my career I often handle difficult, litigious, situations and work closely with parents and teachers and I've never seen a teacher act so unprofessionally, rude and downright disrespectful. During this time I was hung up on, my child was held in the school without my permission, and I was given ultimatums and orders that would have been (and were) harmful to my child. How do I know? I am her mother, which is enough, and a professional who works with children and educates teachers in working with children with learning and behavioral needs.

Had this been a good fit for my child my only other complaint would be that it is said to be "Waldorf Inspired," which it is very clearly not. The school was recommended to us by several parents but I learned later that the "love" they had for the school was largely for the teacher who stopped working the year we started and Michelle came in as the full-time teacher.

The fallout from our experience was huge and my daughter took a long time to recover from the way she was treated. It's frustrating that there is no recourse for parents when this is the situation. I am over-the-moon happy to report that this year we have found a GOOD fit for my daughter in a school that focuses on rhythm (very important for children with anxiety) and is a loving and nurturing environment, unlike our experience at Garden's noise where the emphasis was placed on "flexibility" and parents taking orders from Michelle. And so today, my daughter skips into school without any problems, feels safe and loved and no longer has any worries about being in school or away from me. I am envious of the parents above who got to have this same experience in their preschool, as ours was very traumatic for all involved.

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