2013 Workshops Recap
The heads of school enjoyed a rich day of interacting with Dan Newby, who is an international coach on leadership and ontological learning—how we frame the understanding of any human being. He explored habits and ways that get in the way of learning, introduced key models of communicating and focused on understanding self—how we experience moods and emotions, others, and the world around us.
“He gave everyone a lot to think about as regards to the people in our school communities as well in our organization. He provided a useful framework.”
“Clear insightful presentation especially unto myself, current situations within my school and possibilities for significant change that will allow more coordinated action.”
“It is so great to address how we learn in a larger context than just “Montessori.” It was refreshing to broaden the conversation and understanding with Dan.”
“He did a nice job of tying in the interior/intrinsic vs. exterior/extrinsic values and how they shape our daily interactions at school.”
Presenters extraordinaire Jenifer Fox, Maura Joyce, and AMI trainer Molly O’Shaughnessy provided a wealth of information on Sunday.
…began the day with the heads of school role in helping Generation X parents and teachers realize a 21st century vision of Montessori. She used appreciative inquiry to demonstrate three “hot topics” and how to bring different positions together—children and technology, achievement and success, time and money.
“An extremely useful and engaging presentation that married theory and practice very well. I’ll be using this when I get home!”
“How to avoid conflict through direct relationships and open communication—interesting stories from Africa.”
“New information for me—will need to research more—helpful/informative.”
…premised that parents are not the enemy! We need to build mutually beneficial relationships through communication—describe what we do for their children and how we do it. It is a process but one that needs to happen to create a successful collaboration. Maura was effective and practical in describing how we achieve our goals by helping parents understand their role and how this fits into their role with modern society.
“I really appreciated having something practical to take directly back to school. I think our teachers will love the parent education suggestions, I’m sure we’ll do them, and I believe the topics will benefit the parents as well.”
“Wonderful tool and insight into working with parents. I plan on implementing Maura’s parent education workshop with my parents.”
“Great to have someone who really is a Montessorian, gets where we all are coming from, and provide clear tools everyone can apply.”
“Fantastic! Hands-on, tangible, immediate useful ideas.”
“Excellent, useful, energizing. Will definitely use Maura’s parent education and reread the 1st part of her presentation.”
…shared her efforts to build diverse and broad-based community partnerships that go back to the Montessori method’s roots in order to ensure the future for all children and the health of humanity.
“I did appreciate Molly’s sharing the steps she made as far as community-building, which is something our school is in the process of reinvigorating now.”
“Inspiring important work beyond our current “boxes” is such an important discussion. Thank you! Would have preferred this to be presented to a larger audience—more than just administrators!”
“Very inspirational—am working with low income populations in my own community and look forward to obtaining more information as we make our own plans for funding and growth.”
“Such an inspiration, leader, and teacher for all of us.”
“Powerful and perfect timing with early childhood in the air from President Obama’s State of the Union. Sparked an insightful conversation.”
AMI primary trainer, Jennifer Shields provided an insightful experience for assistants, upholding the beauty of the Montessori method. Her passion and deep knowledge of Montessori permeated the workshop. Her ability to connect with the audience was evident from the comments of the participants:
“My open hands are now filled. I feel humbled and determined to think through my language to exclude judgments, etc.”
“ I do understand more than ever about Montessori.”
“I loved how she loved to answer questions.”
“Lectures were entertaining and interesting! She was an energetic and knowledgeable speaker!”
“She was amazing. By the second day she knew everyone’s name!”
Jenifer Fox led a very fruitful discussion in the parents’ workshop that explored the role the home environment plays in developing and nurturing the child’s strengths. About the presentation participants stated, “Jenifer was an excellent speaker and had a fabulous presentation!”
Administrative Workshop Speaker Dan Newby
Administrative Workshop Speaker
Jenifer Fox (right)