Montessori Professional Development

Become a leading Montessori educator—participate in our upcoming workshops.


2019 Professional Development Workshops

Earn CEUs, Parent Aware DEVELOP hours, and AMS continuing education hours.


  • April 27

    Routines and Supporting Independence

    In this workshop, we will renew our understanding of the prepared environment in the Infant/Toddler classroom. We will then look at how to establish and focusing on routines can answer the child’s cry for freedom and independence. This workshop is great for teams to establish shared beliefs of classroom routines, as well as a support for teachers whose children are demonstrating a need to "Help me to do it by myself!"

    Audience: Infant/Toddler, Assistants, Teachers

    When: April 27 8:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
    Cost: $45
    Instructor: Sherri Simmons

    Sherri Simmons earned her Assistants to Infancy diploma in 1999 at the AMI Montessori Education Center in Rome, Italy. Sherri’s years of applying the Montessori philosophy in communities of young children led her to discover her passion for equipping other adults to assist young children in their development; through parent-child programs,
    public speaking, coaching parents, and mentoring teachers. New to the Twin Cities, Sherri hopes to make herself at home in the Minnesota Montessori community!


  • May 4

    Adult-Child Collaboration in the Toddler Community

    Examine the unique relationship between adult and toddler and the importance as well as essential aspects of adult-child collaboration. Engage in lively discussion surrounding the phenomenon of toddlerhood. Come away from this workshop with new insights and techniques for working with toddlers to share in the classroom, at home, and in parent education. (This workshop can be directly applied to working with toddlers in a Montessori environment but is applicable to anyone who would like to learn more
    about this special time of life and how to support it.)

    Audience: Infant/Toddler, Assistants, Teachers, Administrators

    When: May 4 9:30 a.m.–11:30 p.m.
    Cost: $25
    Instructors: Anne Estes

    Anne has been involved in Montessori education for nearly 15 years guiding children from birth to six as well as adult educators. She earned her AMI primary (3-6) diploma, AMI Assistants to Infancy (birth to 3), and recently completed her doctorate of education from Hamline University, with the dissertation topic: Perceptions of Adult-Child Collaboration in Montessori Toddler Environments. She has lived in France, Japan, and Argentina; she now resides in Plymouth with her partner and two small children.


  • May 18

    Respectfully Redirecting Young Children

    Let's discover, and discuss, the delicate thread of "respect"! In this workshop, we will work to connect the themes of responsibility and freedom. How can we build responsibility in our I/T classroom? How do we build our students capacity for responsibility and freedom? Come, join the conversation, and work through various scenarios to build our capacity to support freedom and responsibility.

    Audience: Infant/Toddler, Assistants, Teachers

    Date: May 18 8:30 a.m–12:30 p.m.
    Cost: $45
    Instructor: Sherri Simmons

    Sherri Simmons earned her Assistants to Infancy diploma in 1999 at the AMI Montessori Education Center in Rome, Italy. Sherri’s years of applying the Montessori philosophy in communities of young children led her to discover her passion for equipping other adults to assist young children in their development; through parent-child programs, public speaking, coaching parents, and mentoring teachers. New to the Twin Cities, Sherri hopes to make herself at home in the Minnesota Montessori community!


  • June 1

    Education for Peace and Justice

    The child is both a hope and a promise for mankind. If we therefore mind this embryo as our most precious treasure, we will be working for the greatness of humanity." -- Dr. Maria Montessori. We will dive into the Montessori perspective on child development in the first six years of life and connect Montessori concepts including the absorbent mind, adaptation, and normalization to anti-bias education, culturally sustaining pedagogy, and anti-racism work.

    Audience: Infant/Toddler, Early Childhood, Assistants, Teachers, Administrators

    Date: June 1 8:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
    Cost: $45
    Instructor: Krista Lucas

    Krista Lucas, AMI Primary Diploma; AMI Assistants to Infancy Diploma and a BA, philosophy; is currently a guide in a Toddler community at Bright Water Montessori.


  • July 8 & 9

    InterPlay

    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.


  • July 22 & 23

    Gratitude Practices in Early Childhood

    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.


  • July 25 & 26

    Social Emotional Learning in the Montessori Classroom

    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.


  • July 29 & 30

    Montessori 101

    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.


  • August 6

    Writing in an Elementary Environment

    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.


  • August 14

    Montessori Charter School Administration Basics

    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)


  • August 14

    Special Education Strategies

    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)


  • October 17

    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.John Nimmo, EdD

    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)

    Registration: Open Now

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


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