Ground Breaking Collaboration
LEADERS FROM TWO MAJOR MONTESSORI ORGANIZATIONS COME TOGETHER
The Montessori community was delighted when key members of two fo the world's most venerable Montessori organizations - the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) and the American Montessori Society (AMS) - met on March 17, 2012, to develop a shared understanding of the issues and challenges faced by the Montessori community in the U.S., and to strategize about how they can work together to effect common goals.
The occasion was a panel discussion, "AMS & AMI: A Dialogue about the Future of Montessori Education," which took place during AMS's Annual Conference, held this year in San Francisco, California. It was the first time in AMI and AMS's cumulative 135-year history that leaders from the organizations have met publicly to develop a shared agenda - and the mood was electric.
Representing the Association Montessori Internationale were Andre Roberfroid, president; Adam Lewis, president of AMI/USA (the primary operational affiliate of AMI in the United States); and Virginia McHugh Goodwin, AMI/USA executive director. AMS panelists were Kathy Roemer, president; Sharon Damore, Board secretary and chair emeritus of the AMS Research Committee; and Richard Ungerer, executive director, who served as dialogue facilitator.
Ungerer started the event by welcoming the panelists and thanking them for joining one another in conversation, which he acknowledged as a vital step in collaboration. He then opened the field for responses to prepared questions, which focused mainly on ways the organizations can work together cooperatively to ensure that Montessori education is a growing and positive force in the United States. Topics included research, public policy, Montessori in the public sector, and raising the visibility of Montessori, among others.
Overall, panelists expressed consensus on central, unifying points, for example, that a goal of both organizations is to create optimal learning environments for children; that a key to success is "one voice, one message"; and that a Montessori Movement mus be open to everyone. They also agreed on the value of pooling resources.
Many members of the audience expressed their enthusiasm for the direction being taken by the two organizations and the possibilities that it offers for growing and strengthening the Montessori Movement in the U.S.
This is a first step in what is intended to be a continuing conversation and dialogue.
Montessori is a holistic, child-centered form of education, developed in Italy more than 100 years ago by educational pioneer Dr. Maria Montessori, and based on scientific observations of children from birth to adulthood.
The Association Montessori Internationale, headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, was founded by Dr. Montessori in 1929 to maintain the integrity of her life's work, and to ensure that it would be perpetuated after her death. AMI/USA, an affiliate of AMI, is located in Rochester, NY.
Based in New York City, NY, the American Montessori Society was founded in 1960 by educator Nancy McCormick Rambusch, PhD, with the backing of key parents from Whitby School (Greenwich, CT), to adapt Montessori for an American culture, and to strengthen the Montessori Movement in the United States.
-Article Submitted by Katy Myers, Denver Public Montessori Secondary School
Colorado and CMA Chosen as One of Six Coalition States in AMI/AMS Advocacy Joint Initiative
Due to last year's success regarding Senate Bill 1276 that now allows for Colorado Montessori Schools to apply for waivers allowing them to use the full array of small Montessori materials and breakable items in classrooms with children younger than three, Colorado was chosen as one of six states to be a part of the new AMI/AMS Advocacy Joint Initiative.
The purpose of the AMI/AMS Advocacy Joint Initiative is to continue the work initiated at the March 17, 2012 historic meeting (see article above). AMI and AMS are bringing together their vast resources to work directly with advocacy groups in six pilot states in order to further the ability for the Montessori Movement to expand and to continue to provide quality education. Due to the demonstrated leadership of its founders and board members, the newly formed Colorado Montessori Association was selected to represent Colorado in this pilot project.
Current topics that are being examined include how we can remove obstacles for Montessori trained teachers to get teacher licensure, and reasonable Department of Labor designations for our early childhood Montessori teachers. CMA encourages any of our members who would like to participate in shaping our approach to Montessori public policy here in Colorado to join the CMA Policy and Advocacy Committee. You can sign up for this committee by emailing Katy Myers at email@example.com or RB Fast at firstname.lastname@example.org.
-Article Submitted by Katy Myers, Denver Public Montessori Secondary School
UPCOMING COMMUNITY EVENTS:
COMMUNITY OUTREACH Artist Gathering at One2One Studio Salon A BENEFIT FOR PATTI TEMPLIN FEATURING VARIED ARTISTS
Friday, February 8th, 2013 6-9 pm Location: One2One Studio Salon 1400 E. Hampden Ave, Suite 120 Cherry Hills Village, Colorado 80113 Contact: email@example.com or 303-781-2602 **If you are unable to attend but would like to donate you can send donations to 320 S. Sherman Street, Denver CO. 80207 Attention Lisa Armao.**
Live music by Robin Hoch from the Wendy Woo Band from 6-7 pm and from Weatherer from 7-9 pm.
Complimentary Food and Drinks
Featuring varied artists, a benefit for: Patti Templin-Educational Consultant and Spiritual Counselor
Patti has made a huge difference in the lives she has touched. Now it is our chance to support her. Patti is fighting breast cancer and is unable to continue her work as a consultant during this journey.
Not only will the event be fun to attend, but there will be art available to purchase and all donations will be welcome with 100% of the proceeds going to Patti Templin. You can make your checks out to Heartworks a 501c(3) dedicated to supporting people going through crisis.
Patti is an educator, a Montessorian, an Educational Kinesiologist, a teacher of massage and stones, a Reiki teacher, a healer, and a spiritual counselor who shares her knowledge of Native Spirituality through teaching sweat lodges, medicine wheels, vision quests and other ceremonies.
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT Rocky Mountain Early Childhood Conference March 1-2, 2013
Cost = Contact Janet Humphryes for more information Location: Colorado Convention Center
Instructors:Janet Humphryes and Patti Templin Contact: visit ecconference.com for more information and a complete workshop listing.
More than 300 early childhood experts and practitioners will be among the many presenters at this year's Rocky Mountain Early Childhood Conference (RMECC). From high-level discussions to hands-on sessions, RMECC is designed to meet the diverse needs and interests of the many professionals who work with young children and their families while also providing an opportunity for the broader community of early childhood advocates to gather, network and learn.
In addition to an expanded selection of workshops organized broadly into five tracks - child development and curriculum, family partnerships and systems, child/family health and well being, policy and advocacy, and leadership, administration and management - the two day forum will also feature keynote speakers Dr. Patricia Kuhl, an internationally-recognized researcher on early language and brain development, and Kathy Buckley, "America's first hearing-impaired comedienne" who delivers an inspirational message that anything can be achieved when the heart and mind work together.
Montessori Infant-Toddler Training Course June 1, 2013 through August 4th, 2014 (22 Saturdays 8:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. and 32 Monday Evenings 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.) Cost = Contact Janet Humphryes for more information Location: Bright Horizons' Montessori at Greenwood Plaza
Instructors:Janet Humphryes and Patti Templin Contact: Janet Humphryes or call 303-985-4246 for more information.
Join this unique learning opportunity and enter into a collaborative Montessori learning experience.
As Montessori educators, we know well the importance of the sense of community that develops in each of our students. This community of the “Children’s House” supports not only independence, and feelings of competence in each child but significantly contributes to the feelings of respect, joy in others’ accomplishments, and working together to support each as well as the group.
Daily we help children feel this sense of belonging, the willingness to learn from one another, and the happiness of the shared experience of success. We know the importance of community for growth and development but do we work at developing this sense of sharing and community for ourselves as well?
The CMA Board of Directors recently came together for a day long retreat with the agenda of determining the goals, and their implementation, that will create a strong, sustainable Montessori community in the state. But as we sat around our conference table sharing our favorite quote from Dr. Montessori and sharing our personal stories as Montessori educators, we were given the opportunity to develop our sense of community with our fellow directors. We got to know one another as individuals, we were able to share one another’s successes, and were able to develop some trust in sharing our vulnerabilities and our difficulties and our dreams as well. It is easy to share our accomplishments but continued growth often comes from a willingness to admit our weaknesses, our need for help, to our peers.
The work of a Montessori teacher can be lonely. We spend most of our day with children whose needs are the center of our efforts. Sometimes we work with administrators or other educators who are not Montessori educators. We work with families who sometimes don’t understand the importance or the scope of the work we do. And we have Dr. Montessori’s ideal we try to live up to: “The teacher …has many difficult functions to perform. Her cooperation is not at all excluded, but it becomes prudent, delicate, and manifold. She does not have need of words, or energy, or severity; but she must be able to make prudent observations, to assist a child by going up to, or withdrawing from, him, and by speaking or keeping silence in accordance with his needs. She must acquire a moral alertness which has not hitherto been demanded by any other system, and this is revealed in her tranquility, patience, charity, and humility. Not words, but virtues, are her main qualifications.” M.Montessori The Discovery of the Child.
One of the joys of developing ourselves as a Montessori educator can be our ever changing skill and understanding of our work with children, their families, and the greater educational community. We can’t, however, really do this on our own. We need the same sense of community that we give our children. Throughout our career, we can benefit from “stages of support”, asking for help from one another, being willing to share our successes as well as our mistakes, learning from those with more experience than we might have, and being open to the fresh ideas and perspectives of those who might be at the beginning of their Montessori journey.
One of the most important goals of the Colorado Montessori Association is to help you grow into a strong, supportive community of Montessori educators across this state. The opportunity to develop a sense of community can start with you. Make the effort to reach out to your fellow teachers, especially those new to the Montessori classroom. You can share ideas for material making, ideas for variations and extensions of the lessons we learned in our teacher education programs. Peer to peer observation can be an eye-opening experience. Be open to a critique of your work, suggestions for further growth, and be willing to offer constructive sharing. Read, or re-read, Dr. Montessori’s works with others and discuss your thoughts, opinions, and ideas.
CMA is committed to offering the services to our members which will bring you and your community into the greater community of Montessorians. We have ideas but we know that our best ideas will come from “following the” teacher. Let us know how this organization can best benefit you. Join our teacher forum, send us an email. What do you want and need to be the best Montessori teacher you can be?
The work we do every day is so important. Let’s help one another to do the best we can for the children of Colorado.
MCHD is now accepting applications for Certified Teachers at all levels (Toddlers through Middle School). Please click here for the AMS position listing (select United States and Colorado and scroll down to Montessori Children's House of Denver's listing).
BA Degree or higher
MACTE Accredited Montessori Certification at corresponding classroom level
Strong interpersonal skills
3 or more years of teaching experience preferred
Director Qualifications or CDE Teacher's License Preferred
Contact: Beatrice Watson | Executive Director by e*mail or at 303-322-8324 x 21
Degree in Early Childhood Education or related field (BA/BS or higher is required)
Montessori Certification or Experience a plus
Minimum of 5-6 years of documented leadership experience in an early education or elementary program required
Demonstrated positive ‘people practices’ and the ability to build strong relationships with staff and families is required
Proven strength required in the following areas: ability to lead and coach staff in implementing a humanistic Montessori philosophy; written and oral communication skills; leadership and supervisory skills; financial management; and organizational skills
Must be able to become Colorado Director qualified.
Contact: Kara Bosler | Recruitment Manager by e*mail or at 816-322-4350 and reference requisition 12-13309