Montessori Professional Development

Mini MN Montessori Conference

St. Catherine University Early Childhood & Montessori Programs in conjunction with the University of Wisconsin River Falls - Montessori Teacher Education Program is excited
to offer the first Mini MN Montessori Conference during MEA—Thursday, October 17. Receive up to six PD contact hours for attending. Receive up to six PD contact hours for attending.

Special Guests: 

  • Esteemed anti-bias educator: Dr. John Nimmo
  • Local Education Equity Expert: Macarre Traynham (Elementary & Upper Grades focus)

Workshop Breakout Sessions for All Levels

Date: October 17 
Cost: $75 (Breakfast and lunch included)
Location: St. Catherine University, St. Paul Campus

Registration is now open. Register for our Mini MN Montessori Conference here.

Schedule: (Subject to change)
8:00 - 8:30 - Coffee & Conversation
9:00 - 11:30 - Keynote Speakers (John Nimmo & Macarre Traynham)
11:30 - 12:30 - Lunch
12:30 - 2:00 - Session 1
2:00 - 2:20 - Break
2:20 - 3:50 - Session 2
4: 00 - 5:00 Happy Hour

Workshop Breakout Sessions for All Levels
Content to include:

  • Nature Education
  • Material Making
  • Classroom Management
  • Trauma Education
  • And More!

For more info: montessoriad@stkate.edu or 651-690-6001.

Photos of Mini MN Conference Speakers Dr. Nimmo and Macarre Traynham side by side

Dr. John Nimmo & Macarre Traynham

Past Events

InterPlay is grounded in an ethic of play. Participants engage in improvisational storytelling, movement and song as a means of creating a strong sense of community, belonging and self-awareness. It’s a vehicle to unlocking the wisdom of the body, mind and spirit. Participants say they experience a newfound joy and sense of grace and ease. The forms can be used for workshop community building, embodied curriculum activities and inspiring the creative mind. No prior experience necessary.

Audience: Elementary, Adolescents, Assistants, Teachers, & Administrators

Date: July 8 and 9, 9 a.m.–3 p.m. 
Cost: $140 for 2-day workshop
Instructor: Jori Martinez-Woods

Certified InterPlay Leader, Jori Martinez-Woods (Ed.M., Harvard GSE), is dedicated to uplifting the human spirit and finding JOY through movement and creative play. Jori is a career educator/coach and holds elementary Montessori certifications. She is currently an Instructional Leader and Coach at City Garden Montessori Charter School in St. Louis, Missouri.

In this two-day SEL workshop, we will learn how to create a positive classroom culture by integrating research-tested gratitude practices. We will explore ways to expand our own capacity for gratitude as we role-model and guide children to become more authentically appreciative of the many gifts they have in their lives. Hands-on activities, group discussion, a review of gratitude research, and a complete set of lesson plans are included.

Audience: Classroom Teachers, Assistant Teachers, Behavior Support.

Date: July 22 and 23, 8 a.m.– 4 p.m.
Cost: $180 for 2-day workshop
Instructor: Vanessa Callaghan

Vanessa is a Montessori educator and consultant with 15 years of classroom experience. Her mission is to help educators and schools thrive by providing high-quality research-tested professional development services. She provides customized trainings for educational communities that empower teachers to develop meaningful and transformative practices. She has researched how to bring gratitude practices into early childhood programs for UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center’s Youth Gratitude Project, and researched about gratitude and engagement at the lower elementary level for her master’s project. Vanessa holds an Early Childhood and Lower Elementary teaching credential from the American Montessori Society, a BA in Psychology from UC Berkeley, and a MAED from St. Catherine University.

Social and Emotional Learning in the Montessori Classroom: Tools for Transformation. In this two-day workshop, we will learn about the foundation of social and emotional learning in the context of a Montessori environment. Beginning with ourselves, we will explore how appreciation, a strengths-based perspective, and other essential tools can transform our teaching practices. We will discuss actionable strategies to create a robust, year-round SEL program that builds up the resilience and well-being of our classroom community.

Audience: Classroom Teachers, Assistant Teachers, Behavior Support

Date: July 25 and 26, 8 a.m.– 4 p.m.
Cost: $180 for 2-day workshop
Instructor: Vanessa Callahan

Vanessa is a Montessori educator and consultant with 15 years of classroom experience. Her mission is to help educators and schools thrive by providing high-quality research-tested professional development services. She provides customized trainings for educational communities that empower teachers to develop meaningful and transformative practices. She has researched how to bring gratitude practices into early childhood programs for UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center’s Youth Gratitude Project, and researched about gratitude and engagement at the lower elementary level for her master’s project. Vanessa holds an Early Childhood and Lower Elementary teaching credential from the American Montessori Society, a BA in Psychology from UC Berkeley, and a MAED from St. Catherine University.

Explore the fundamental theories of Montessori education, experience the dynamic environment of the Montessori classroom, and get your questions about the practical application of Montessori philosophy answered.

Audience: Early Childhood, Elementary, Adolescents, Assistants, Teachers, & Administrators

Date: July 29 and 30, 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Cost: $180
Instructors: Sinead Carolan & Patrick Kutzer

Sinéad Carolan has been a Montessori Primary guide since she moved here from Northern Ireland 22 years ago and the director of her own school for 15 years. She is also a private consultant who supports guides as they start their own school through the Wildflower Network. Sinéad loves to present parent education workshops, both at her school and for other early childhood programs.

Patrick Kutzer is a Minnesota native who holds both Lower and Upper Elementary Montessori credentials from St. Catherine University, and is a graduate of the U of M
with a BA in German. He has a Minnesota K-6 Elementary license, and has 6 years experience as a lower elementary lead guide.

Patrick and Sinéad have three children, and stay busy with lots of projects on their Northeast Minneapolis home. They are also both active in their neighborhood, church,
and local youth hockey program.

Presenting the modes, genres, stages, and traits of writing, with small groups of children, who need their hands to learn, can be a challenge for any Montessori guide. In this workshop, all of your writing concerns will melt away as you discover a streamlined process for implementing writing instruction in your Montessori environment. You will walk away with knowledge of materials needed and presentations to give in order to help guide your children through the process of writing.

Audience: Elementary, Assistants, Teachers, and Administrators

Date: August 6, 8:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
Cost: $80
Instructor: Mandie Bonilla-Ortiz

Mandie Bonilla-Ortiz has experience in both public and private AMI schools, and is in her 9th year of teaching. She has taught in both upper and lower elementary and has
implemented her writing presentations in both lower and upper.

Administrating in a charter school can be challenging. Budgets are small and job tasks are huge. Connecting public school requirements to Montessori pedagogy add another layer to a difficult job description. This workshop will offer suggestions of tasks and strategies to tackle administration with fidelity and responsibility without losing your sanity! Topics include business and finance, testing and academic reporting, compliance with authorizer and MDE, school board relations, internal and external communication, human resource management, teacher evaluation, administrative professional development, legal compliance, Montessori instruction, and school operations.

Audience: Elementary, Adolescents, Teachers, & Administrators

Date: August 14, 8:30–11:30 a.m.
Cost: $40
Instructor: Deana Siekmann

Deana Siekmann, Ed.S. K – 12 Principal License, Director of Special Education License, Teaching Licenses in Elementary Education, Specific Learning Disabilities, Emotional/Behavioral Disorders 20 years in education – (special education teacher for 10 years and Director at World Learner School for 10 years)

Many Montessori schools enroll students with a variety of challenges that impact learning. Often times, our schools don’t have a variety of teachers to support all the students we serve, requiring one or two teachers to be experts – without training or knowledge. Deana has taught at World Learner School in Chaska for 17 years (plus 3 years in a level 3 classroom) and has worked with kids eligible for services in almost all disability categories. She will share her experiences and knowledge to support and inspire you to continue this difficult work with our children (and parents!).

Audience: Early Childhood, Elementary, Adolescents, Assistants, Teachers, & Administrators

Date: August 14, 12:30–3:30 p.m.
Cost: $40
Instructor: Deana Siekmann

Deana Siekmann, Ed.S. K–12 Principal License, Director of Special Education License, Teaching Licenses in Elementary Education, Specific Learning Disabilities, Emotional/Behavioral Disorders 20 years in education – (special education teacher for 10 years and Director at World Learner School for 10 years)