Montessori Professional Development

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


Upcoming Montessori Workshops

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

Workshops are short, "noncredit" continuing education opportunities that will enrich your understanding of Montessori. Workshops are for credentialed teachers, classroom assistants, specialist teachers, administrators, parents and board members.

Workshop Instructors:


  • June 15 and June 16

    Administrator's Workshop

    Day 1: Co-Creating a Caring, Collegial Community

    In our data-driven, results oriented culture, we often forget to engage the human side of what it means to create a community of adults working for the greater good in our schools. In this workshop you will learn how to use a shared inquiry process and an appreciation of each other’s gifts to cultivate deep engagement in the members of your community, bringing out the best in your staff, yourself and your school community. We will embody practices and perspectives that allow for appreciation of each other's gifts to naturally flow making the essential business side of our interactions more whole and satisfying.

    The day is centered around essential gifts – gifts for you to experience, and gifts for you to bring with you back to your schools and your practice.

    • The Gift of Presence: A simple mindfulness experience can bring us to presence and knit us together
    • The Gift of Yourself: Based on Lencioni’s Pyramid, explore the ways in which belonging and trust inspire each of us to bring our best selves forward
    • The Gift of Conflict: Deep trust invites us to take on difficult topics with one another, and to receive the gift that lies at the heart of conflict
    • The Gift of Understanding: When we realize our (and others!) preferred style of interacting we are increasingly able to accept those around us and flexibly adapt our leadership style to meet the needs of our community
    • The Gift of Questions: Crafting powerful, appreciative questions has the power to guide, shape and transform our experience and practice
    • The Gift of Giving: This simple and deeply meaningful experience of sharing deepens our connection and sense of gratitude for one another

    Leave with these gifts and many others, as well as a fresh perspective on how trust, conflict, leadership and inquiry both deepen and strengthen our communities of practice.

    When?
    Thursday, June 15, 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

    Where?
    St. Catherine University, St. Paul Campus, Fontbonne Hall, Room 210
    Lunch will be provided.

    Cost
    $100

    Instructors

    • Katie Ibes MAED, AMS 6-12, Certified Leadership Coach, Montessori Consultant and Director of Pedagogy at Great River School
    • Syneva Barrett, MAED AMS 6-12, Program Director Advanced Montessori Programs

    Day 2: Staying Whole and Connected: An Administrator's Retreat

    Regular reflection keeps us whole and connected. Using Parker Palmer’s Five Habits of the Heart, renewing rituals and ceremony, we will spend the day contemplating, sharing and evolving our practice of leadership.

    • Practice self-reflection and learn how this powerful tool shapes our experience, our learning and our lives
    • Experience renewing rituals as individuals
    • Explore the importance of ceremony in creating community
    • Expand and deepen your Montessori connections
    • Find the time to breathe, rest and return with fresh energy to bring into your work and home life

    When?
    Friday, June 16, 9:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m.

    Where?
    St. Catherine University, St. Paul Campus, Fontbonne Hall, Room 210
    Lunch will be provided.

    Cost
    $80

    Instructors

    • Katie Ibes MAED, AMS 6-12, Certified Leadership Coach, Montessori Consultant and Director of Pedagogy at Great River School
    • Syneva Barrett, MAED AMS 6-12, Program Director Advanced Montessori Programs

    Register for both and save – only $160 for two days of administrative workshops!


  • August 2–3

    Montessori 101 – Our Most Popular Workshop of the Year

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

    Day 1: Montessori Philosophy and Theory

    Observing in a Montessori classroom can feel like magic – children work peacefully. They choose their own work, help friends clean up spills, resolve conflicts with a peace rose, wash their own dishes and push in their chairs. How does this happen without a magic wand We’ll help you find out!

    In the morning we will explore:

    • A brief history of Montessori education
    • Key Montessori concepts including: the Four Planes of Development, Sensitive Periods and the Absorbent Mind
    • The importance of three year age groupings
    • The role of observation in a Montessori environment

    We’ll end the morning with a tour of our model Montessori environments from early childhood through upper elementary. Discover the important elements of Montessori environment including: beauty, order, and sequenced materials. Learn scientific design concepts embedded in the materials that allow children to progress through the curriculum naturally.

    In the afternoon we will:

    • Experience the Montessori environment. Return from lunch as a child and enter a working Montessori environment. Get your hands on the materials and connect theory to practice. Experience lessons in the classroom and discover the three freedoms of the Montessori environment.
    • Discover how concentration is key to creating a peaceful and productive Montessori environment and learn how to encourage and develop concentration in children.

    Day 2: Practical Applications

    The first Montessori school was called the Casa di Bambini, or “the house of children.” Even today, most early childhood classrooms are referred to as “Children’s House.” If the Montessori classroom is focused on the children, then what is the role of the adult? Join us to find out!

    In the morning we will explore:

    • The role of the adult in the Montessori environment
    • Practical skills such as:
      • How to encourage independence
      • How to assist wandering children
      • How to approach socializing during the work period
      • How to help children in the work cycle – choosing work, completing work and putting work away

    In the afternoon we will:

    • Learn the key role of observation in the Montessori environment. Practice reading and interpreting observation data. Explore how to use observations to help you improve your classroom.
    • Discover three steps to problems solving that can address any Montessori classroom challenge.
    • Answer your practical questions.

    When?
    Wednesday, August 2 and Thursday, August 3, 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

    Where?
    St. Catherine University, St. Paul Campus, Fontbonne Hall, Room 210

    Cost
    $180

    Instructors

    • Syneva Barrett, MAED AMS 6-12
    • Teresa Ripple, MAED AMS 3-6
    • Liv Christensen, M.Ed. AMI 3-6

  • August 5

    Parent, Child, Teacher: An Essential Partnership in the Infant/Toddler Years

    Explore Montessori developmental theory and educational practices from birth to age three. Discover how the roles of parents, guides and assistants shift, evolve and develop through collaboration to best support the needs of the developing child. Learn the characteristics and tendencies of the first-plane child, methods of effective parent-teacher communication, and attributes of a supportive home environment.

    Who?
    This workshop is for assistants or aids working in infant and toddler care, parents of infants or toddlers attending Montessori school, early childhood teachers interested in what goes on during the first half of the first plane, and trained infant/toddler teachers looking for new ideas and collegial conversations! Participants earn continuing education contact hours and MNCPD development hours (hours needed to maintain Parent Aware rating).

    Learn about infant and toddler development:

    • Receive an overview of Montessori developmental theory
    • Focus discussions on the first plane of development, birth to six years
    • Explore how to support infants and toddlers on the path to physical, mental and social independence

    Discover how to support early learning in school and at home:

    • Learn about key characteristics of an infant and toddler Montessori classroom
    • Take a closer look at infant and toddler classroom materials
    • Gain ideas and resources to incorporate Montessori in the home

    Explore how parents, teachers and assistants can work together:

    • Consider what it means to be an infant/toddler Montessori “prepared adult”
    • Discuss the importance of effective communication between teachers, assistants, parents and other caregivers
    • Become versed in culturally and socially relevant parent-teacher relationship building

    When?
    Saturday, August 5, 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

    Where?
    St. Catherine University, St. Paul Campus, Fontbonne Hall, Room 210

    Cost
    $90

    Instructor
    Emily Shubitz M.Ed. AMI 0-3 and 3-6


  • August 9–10

    Biology: A New Understanding

    The field of biology has been transformed by breakthroughs in the past twenty years. Advances such as the mapping of the human genome, DNA manipulation, the discovery of molecular fossils and mitochondrial DNA, among others, have rewritten our understanding of the origins and mechanisms of life. Expand your knowledge and receive an updated album with lessons to help you present an engaging and accurate curriculum to your elementary students.

    Who?
    This workshop is for lower and upper elementary levels. Classroom assistants, specialist teachers, special education teachers, new teachers, administrators, parents and all who are interested are welcome! Participants earn continuing education contact hours and MNCPD development hours (hours needed to maintain Parent Aware rating).

    Expand your knowledge of biology:

    • Share your questions
    • Explore new advances in the field
    • Develop lessons and materials to challenge your students

    Learn and practice new lessons:

    • All-new albums reflect current research and theories
    • Clear, organized lessons introduce key concepts
    • Experienced, knowledgable trainers

    Engage your students:

    • Interesting and creative presentations
    • Hands-on materials bring concepts to life
    • A wide range of topics and concepts to challenge students

    Lessons include: The Web of Life, Exploring my Biome, Descent and Change, the Evolution of Me.

    When?
    Wednesday, August 9 and Thursday, August 10, 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

    Where?
    St. Catherine University, St. Paul Campus, Advanced Montessori Center in Our Lady of Victory Chapel, LL Room 17

    Cost
    $180

    Instructors

    • Katie Ibes MAED, AMS 6-12, Professional Coach, Montessori Consultant and Director of Pedagogy at Great River School
    • Karen Anway, MA, MAED, AMS 6-12, Great River School Faculty member

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