Program and  speakers

Video sessions with the following guest speakers will be streamed online over the course of seven days, on 12–18 April 2021.

The program below is from Autumn 2020 Conference.


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Day 1 • April 19, 2021

To educate the Human Potential

Biff will explain how his academic roots in psychology led him to a career in Montessori education, which he views as providing environments that offer “preventative therapy.” Mentally healthy individuals perform well intellectually, emotionally, socially and organizationally. Children encounter a host of obstacles to healthy development as they grow up, and this presentation shows how Montessori helps children normalize and achieve their human potential.

Biff Maier

William (Biff) Maier is Director of Faculty and Curriculum Development at Lexington Montessori School in Massachusetts. He co-directs the Montessori Elementary Teacher Training Collaborative (METTC) in Lexington, MA Biff also works with the Center for Advanced Montessori Studies in Vancouver, B.C. and the International Montessori Education Institute in Taiwan.
Involved with Montessori since 1974, Mr. Maier is a seminar presenter, consultant and mentor to Emerging Leader Fellows for the American Montessori Society. As former Chair of the AMS Teachers’ Section, he served on the AMS National Board of Directors. He received the AMS Living Legacy Award for 2020. Biff earned his B.A. in psychology from Duke University and his M.Ed. from Xavier University, where he also received his AMS Early Childhood and Elementary 6-9 credentials. He also earned an AMI 6-12 credential from the International Center for Advanced Montessori Studies in Bergamo, Italy.

Mr. Maier is married to a psychiatrist who practices privately in Arlington, Massachusetts, and they have two adult children who are Montessori graduates . Ida is a linguist and novelist living in Paris. Ted is a recent college graduate who works in litigation consulting in New York City.

To educate the Human Potential

Biff will explain how his academic roots in psychology led him to a career in Montessori education, which he views as providing environments that offer “preventative therapy.” Mentally healthy individuals perform well intellectually, emotionally, socially and organizationally. Children encounter a host of obstacles to healthy development as they grow up, and this presentation shows how Montessori helps children normalize and achieve their human potential.

Aubrey Hargis

William (Biff) Maier is Director of Faculty and Curriculum Development at Lexington Montessori School in Massachusetts. He co-directs the Montessori Elementary Teacher Training Collaborative (METTC) in Lexington, MA Biff also works with the Center for Advanced Montessori Studies in Vancouver, B.C. and the International Montessori Education Institute in Taiwan.
Involved with Montessori since 1974, Mr. Maier is a seminar presenter, consultant and mentor to Emerging Leader Fellows for the American Montessori Society. As former Chair of the AMS Teachers’ Section, he served on the AMS National Board of Directors. He received the AMS Living Legacy Award for 2020. Biff earned his B.A. in psychology from Duke University and his M.Ed. from Xavier University, where he also received his AMS Early Childhood and Elementary 6-9 credentials. He also earned an AMI 6-12 credential from the International Center for Advanced Montessori Studies in Bergamo, Italy.

Mr. Maier is married to a psychiatrist who practices privately in Arlington, Massachusetts, and they have two adult children who are Montessori graduates . Ida is a linguist and novelist living in Paris. Ted is a recent college graduate who works in litigation consulting in New York City.

Respecting Your Child’s Work: Raising Confident Problem-Solvers

Play is the work of the child, or so it is said. But what does that even mean? And why does this shift in the way we view our child’s playful learning matter? In this talk we will uncover the true meaning and importance of respecting your child’s work. We will shift to a major reframe for our children’s benefit, and also, for us parents. Learn actionable tools to start implementing today! What will we discuss? 

  • Why does the shift to view your child’s play as “work” matter?
  • How can you respect your child in their work?
  • Supporting your child’s confidence and problem-solving abilities
  • The benefits of Autonomy Supportive Parenting

Haley Turner

Haley Turner is a Montessori toddler mom and founder of Sweet Home Montessori, a Positive Parenting and Montessori resource guide. She graduated with a degree in Early Care and Education and a certification in Early Childhood Development. Haley also completed her diploma in Montessori Education (ages 3-6 ). She is a certified Positive Discipline Parent Educator and has completed the RIE Foundations Theory and Observation Intensive Training. 

While living out her dream as an early childhood educator, Haley was diagnosed with a rare brain and spine condition. The condition required immediate neurosurgery and ultimately ended her classroom teaching career. After reflection, Haley realized it was time to apply Maria Montessori’s theories to her own life - making the shift from seeing her health as a barrier and instead focusing on the opportunity to think outside the box and honor her unique path.

Haley now lives out her passion by teaching parents online how to raise capable children in a peaceful home. She brings Montessori and respectful parenting guidance to families all over the world! Haley homeschools her own Montessori toddler and shares practical and effective tools with parents online through her workshops, 1:1 consulting, and social media platform. You can connect with her on Instagram SweetHomeMontessori and her website

Setting-up Your Montessori Home Learning Activities

Biff will explain how his academic roots in psychology led him to a career in Montessori education, which he views as providing environments that offer “preventative therapy.” Mentally healthy individuals perform well intellectually, emotionally, socially and organizationally. Children encounter a host of obstacles to healthy development as they grow up, and this presentation shows how Montessori helps children normalize and achieve their human potential.

Yuliya Fruman

William (Biff) Maier is Director of Faculty and Curriculum Development at Lexington Montessori School in Massachusetts. He co-directs the Montessori Elementary Teacher Training Collaborative (METTC) in Lexington, MA Biff also works with the Center for Advanced Montessori Studies in Vancouver, B.C. and the International Montessori Education Institute in Taiwan.
Involved with Montessori since 1974, Mr. Maier is a seminar presenter, consultant and mentor to Emerging Leader Fellows for the American Montessori Society. As former Chair of the AMS Teachers’ Section, he served on the AMS National Board of Directors. He received the AMS Living Legacy Award for 2020. Biff earned his B.A. in psychology from Duke University and his M.Ed. from Xavier University, where he also received his AMS Early Childhood and Elementary 6-9 credentials. He also earned an AMI 6-12 credential from the International Center for Advanced Montessori Studies in Bergamo, Italy.

Mr. Maier is married to a psychiatrist who practices privately in Arlington, Massachusetts, and they have two adult children who are Montessori graduates . Ida is a linguist and novelist living in Paris. Ted is a recent college graduate who works in litigation consulting in New York City.

Relationships, Actions and human essence of Montessori principles

Relationships, Actions and Human Essence of Montessori Principles. 

In this conference, you will learn the deep holistic essence of Montessori and how it applies to every aspect of life. 

Experience, Learn and Live: 

✓ The deep connection, correlation and the incredible impact that this method or I must say, way of living can have in your life. 

✓ You will experience many AHA moments that will 

lead you to live a happier, healthier, peaceful and loving life, with yourself, your children, students and employees. 

✓ You will have the opportunity to live through powerful activities, moments of deep reflection that will awaken, recharge and remind you why the child is the father of man. 

Val Alino

Val is a mom, entrepreneur, volunteer, a certified AMI Montessori Educator with certifications in Assistants to Infancy and Children’s House levels in Atlanta, Georgia and Perugia, Italy. She has been a Guide, Director and led her own Montessori AMI School for over 10 years. She is a Life, Conscious Parenting and Spiritual Coach, who has empowered thousands of teachers, parents, leaders, and children to heal, evolve, grow, transform and unlock their full potential. 

Over 30 years of practice empowering families from the USA, India, Spain, Dubai, Mexico, Peru, Colombia helping them to enjoy their parenting journey and create harmonious peaceful families through mindfulness, meditation, spiritual intelligence, and emotional management. In 2020, she was a Keynote speaker at the Global Woman Empowerment Summit in Dubai. Val has been an International Consultant for Higher Ground Education and has also helped companies improve motivation, creativity, work climate, creating mindful communication and conscious leadership. 

Val has received multiple awards for extraordinary service to humanity, such as the Telemundo Atlanta award "Guardian Hero award" in 2018 in the USA, the Sunshine on a Ranney Day volunteer of the year Award, and the Community Hero Award from Iheart Media. In 2020, she received the award "Líderes que Forjan el Perú" for her outstanding professional leadership to the Country. 

Val Alino Coach 

Poverty, the pandemic, and the brain: What teacher moves matter most during difficult times?

What if we had the ability to understand how the brain operates and which school and teacher moves matter most?  What if we knew how to leverage the science of learning to push aside barriers for under-resourced and all learners?  The good news is that we do!   Tammy Pawloski has spent the last twenty years using cognitive neuroscience to inform her work in schools across the nation—work that is centered on helping teachers and school leaders understand why students struggle and how to strategically change student experiences in ways that lead to powerful brain change.   Please welcome Tammy.

Tammy Pawloski

“Best professional development session EVER!”   

Tammy Pawloski has led more than 1500 professional learning events for teachers, school leaders, and stakeholders.  She understands the challenges and opportunities of teaching, and has devoted the last twenty years to the study of under-resourced learners—why they struggle and which strategies have the greatest impact.   Pawloski is a noted expert because of her breadth of knowledge, however what resonates most with teachers and school leaders is her ability to deliver an uncommon combination of research, practice, and compelling stories from the field that both empower and challenge.  Don’t miss this session!

Living the Montessori way

Some years ago, Paul Epstein and I wrote a book called The Montessori way  Our premise is that the ideas that Maria Montessori proposed did not begin with her. While they are not unique to her, they are extraordinary, 

Montessori developed a replicable, sustainable, adaptable system-of-systems that you and I call that the Montessori way. It is so much more than a curriculum and method of instruction. It is a way of nurturing children’s sense of personal agency, curiosity, imagination, tenacity, and wonder. 

Montessori is a way of life for us as adults, as well as for children. It should inform how we work with one another in our schools. It is a way of providing inspired leading classrooms, schools, businesses, boardrooms, and in civil life. 

There is a way of living Montessori in our home with our partners, children, and extended families. It is a path toward a better tomorrow and a more fulfilling and joyful life today. 

In this talk, I will explore the fundamental principles and interpersonal social norms that attract parents and great teachers to our schools and keep them engaged, how to lead a Montessori classroom or a community of Montessori educators and families as a circle of partnership and connection.

Tim Seldin, M. Ed. – AMS

Tim is the President of the Montessori Foundation and Chair of the International Montessori Council. He is a co-founder of the Center for Guided Montessori Studies and Co-Director of its Montessori School Leadership Certification Program.

His more than forty years of experience in Montessori education includes twenty-two years as Headmaster of the Barrie School in Silver Spring, Maryland, which was his own alma mater from age two through high school graduation. Tim was the co-founder and Director of the Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies, the Center for Guided Montessori Studies, and currently also serves as the Head of the New Gate School in Sarasota, Florida.  He earned a B.A. in History and Philosophy from Georgetown University, an M.Ed. in Educational Administration and Supervision from The American University, and his Montessori certification from the American Montessori Society. Tim Seldin is the author of several books on Montessori Education, including his latest, How to Raise An Amazing Child, The Montessori Way with Dr. Paul Epstein, Building a World-class Montessori School, Finding the Perfect Match - Recruit and Retain Your Ideal Enrollment, Master Teachers - Model Programs, Starting a New Montessori School, Celebrations of Life, and The World in the Palm of Her Hand.  

Tim is the father and step-father to five former Montessori students, and the grandfather of a new generation of Montessori students. He lives on a small vineyard north of Sarasota, Florida with his wife, Joyce St. Giermaine, their many horses, dogs, and cats.

How to educate the senses of your child the Montessori way

Dr Maria Montessori’s insight into recognizing and responding to the education of the young child’s senses is a remarkable aspect of her method, which continues to inspire me as an educator. 

“The senses, being explorers of the world, open the way to knowledge. Our apparatus for educating the senses offers the child a key to guide his explorations of the world.” Dr. Maria Montessori

In this workshop you will:

  • Have access to a practical handbook for reflection.
  • Have an overview of the Montessori Sensorial Materials and the importance of educating the senses of your child from an early age.
  • Practice how to broaden and refine your child's intelligence through the 5 senses.
  • Connect the senses to real life applications.
  • Learn how to offer older children in elementary more sensory experience that can help them excel academically.

Dina Ahmed

Dina is a MACTE certified Montessori educator with over 10 years of experience in teaching. She is the founder of Montessori Tube Academy, an organization that offers homeschooling parents and teachers easy to follow Montessori courses and resources for 3-12 age group. Dina is passionate for working with young learners helping each child progress in all areas of their development. She takes keen interest in offering a sensorial experience to the child in all age groups. 

Discipline is Not a Bad Word

Teachers and parents have backed off from discipline. They have been told to avoid consequences, avoid the word “no,” and not to put children in time-outs. Sadly, this trend has gained traction among Montessorians which is ironic, since Montessori, herself, was an advocate for strong correction from the adult until the child develops self-discipline. It is no coincidence that when adults become unassertive, children often become rude, violent and disrespectful. Children need proper discipline and they aren’t getting it. In this talk I explain why children are not getting the guidance and correction that they need and make the case that the correct discipline practices are based on the educational principles advocated by Maria Montessori.

Charlotte Cushman

Charlotte Cushman attended Lewis and Clark College, Portland, Oregon, where she received a B.S degree in elementary education in 1972. Immediately after graduation, she took her Montessori training from Lena Wikramaratne (a colleague and friend of Maria Montessori). She has: both AMI and AMS Montessori certifications, over 40 years teaching experience, and co-owned and operated two Montessori schools. She speaks to the general public on education and authored Montessori: Why It Matters for Your Child’s Success and Happiness, Effective Discipline the Montessori Way, and Your Life Belongs to You.

Positive Parenting—Resolving Behavior Problems the Montessori Way

Parents hope for raise children who will ultimately become successful, contributing members of society. They want their children to grow up to be happy, healthy, trustworthy adults. This presentation will provide both the Montessori theory and practice needed to support the development of competent, cooperative, confident human beings. Participants will learn how to support the development of responsibility and self-control. In considering children's individuality and diverse cultural needs and interests, this presentation will help parents deal with a broad range of behaviors and provides tips about how to maintain a positive assertiveness in the face of challenges.

Darla Miller

Dr. Darla Ferris Miller is author of Positive Child Guidance, an award-winning birth to twelve textbook, currently developing its ninth edition.  This foundational text and its translations are used in numerous college courses in the United States and internationally. 

Her BA degree is from Baylor University, and her PhD and MA are from The University of Houston.  She holds American Montessori Society credentials at both the Infant and Toddler and Early Childhood Levels.

Miller has fostered exemplary Montessori Infant and Toddler care and education in the United States, Canada, China, Taiwan, Vietnam, South Korea, and Russia.

Parenting Your Differently Wired Child with Confidence, Joy, and Possibility

For most parents, discovering a child is differently wired leads them down a path they weren’t necessarily ever planning to follow. In this talk, Debbie talks about how to process a child’s diagnosis of a neurodifference in a way that honors and supports your emotional experience, ways to see your child through a lens of strengths rather than deficits, parenting from a place of possibility instead of fear, helping your child embrace self-discovery and self-knowledge, and strategies for shifting your mindset, thoughts, and actions, to fully embrace who your child is.

Debbie Reber

Deborah Reber, MA, is a parenting activist, New York Times bestselling author, podcast host, and speaker who moved her career in a more personal direction in 2016 when she founded TiLT Parenting, a top resource for parents like her who are raising differently wired children. The TiLT Parenting Podcast has grown to be a top podcast in iTunes’ Kids and Family category, with nearly 3 million downloads and a slate of guests that includes high-profile thought leaders across the parenting and education space. A certified Positive Discipline trainer and a regular contributor to Psychology Today and ADDitude Magazine, Debbie’s newest book is Differently Wired: Raising an Exceptional Child in a Conventional World.


Montessorian and Adlerian concepts of independence and contribution in action for good mental health from the start.

Dr. Adler’s psychological theories have shown for many years the results of encouraging children’s contributions at home is synomynous with good mental health. Likewise, Dr. Montessori helped us see the importance of independence and at the same time building community through engaging in purposeful and focused work while taking care of oneself and of the others around me.

In this short lecture I will share the need to understand the child’s intrinsic need to feel a part of the family as well as to contribute to its running and well-being as the best way to help them develop good relationships with others and with tehmselves. I will share important strategies and tips to foster good mental health from the very start of life!

Cristina Sanz Ferrero

Cristina is the Founder of Life Skills Escuela para la Vida a Spain-based project that operatees all over the world remotely and in person when the pandemic allows.

She is an Adlerian and Montessorian Counsellor guiding teachers and parents through their journeys with children offering Family and Individual Counselling as well as parenting classes and teacher trainings in Positive Discipline and Montessori pedagogy. 

She trained as a Primary Montessori Guide obtaining her first MA in Montessori Education in 2015.

She is a Certified Positive Discipline Trainer working closely with public and private schools to spread democracy and respect in a variety of school settings including many Montessori schools in Spain. She is currently completing her second Master’s Degree in Adlerian Counselling.         

10 tips for parents to raise a Montessori baby with love, respect and understanding

Junnifa and Simone will give us a sneak peek into “The Montessori Baby” book revealing their 10 top tips for raising babies in a Montessori way. It’s about learning to observe our baby, responding not reacting, knowing what our baby’s developing needs are, and how can we show them respect from birth. They will show us their favourite must-haves for Montessori babies and - spoiler - remind us that we don’t need to buy much at all.

Simone Davies

Simone Davies is the author of “The Montessori Toddler” book and popular blog “The Montessori Notebook”, host of “The Montessori Notebook podcast,” and currently runs parent-child Montessori classes in Amsterdam at her school Jacaranda Tree Montessori. She is also mother to two young adults. Finding Montessori helped her so much when raising her own children and it’s now her passion to help other parents introduce these ideas in their homes too. She is currently co-writing “The Montessori Baby” (0-12 months) and “The Montessori Child” (3-12 years) with Junnifa Uzodike

Juniffa Uzodike

Junnifa Uzodike is an AMI trained Montessori guide for the 0-3, 3-6 and 6-12 levels. She is the founder and head of school at Fruitful Orchard Montessori in Abuja, Nigeria.

Since discovering Montessori in 2011, Junnifa has continued to build her knowledge and experience in child development using Montessori principles. She has three children whom she has raised using Montessori principles from birth.

Junnifa’s Montessori work includes guiding children at Fruitful Orchard, mentoring teachers, and closest to her heart is supporting parents in implementing Montessori from birth. She inspires parents around the world to bring Montessori into their lives by sharing her Montessori journey  and offering courses and other resources via her blog and her instagram page @montessori_nduoma. Junnifa is currently writing two books, “The Montessori Baby” and “The Montessori Child”  with Simone Davies

Junnifa serves on the board of the Association Montessori Internationale.

Cultivator of the Human Spirit

For over thirty years, Dr. Punum Bhatia has diligently studied in great detail and tenacity Maria Montessori´s philosophy and methodology. Dr. Montessori was a pioneer and educator who implemented methods through which young children learned social skills, spontaneous discipline, and achieved academic excellence unheard of until that time. Not only did she revolutionize education, but she also worked to further the rights of women, children, and all of humankind. She worked consistently to create a better world, confident in the ability of the child to create a more peaceful, harmonious society. Dr. Bhatia began her travels in the footsteps of Dr. Montessori in 2006 and it took her 13 years to complete the journey. She now invites you to walk beside her as she revisits Maria Montessori´s incredible journey through Italy, Spain, England, the United States, and India.

Dr. Punum Bhatia

Inspired by Dr. Maria Montessori’s philosophy, Punum Bhatia, PhD has dedicated her life to Montessori education as a parent, teacher, and teacher educator for over thirty years. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in English Literature; earned Masters’ degrees in English Literature and Education from the University of Calcutta; and completed a certificate diploma in Montessori Pedagogy. She earned her Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Colorado Denver in 2012 for her work on the Self-Efficacy of Montessori teachers. In her efforts to understand children and the environments necessary for them to grow and flourish, Punum focuses on Maria Montessori’s original philosophy and techniques. After teaching the Montessori method to cohorts all around the world, she is now the proud owner of her very own bilingual preschool, Montessori Casa International in Denver, Colorado. She is the author of The Montessori Difference: Creating a Children’s House, Cultivator of the Human Spirit: Revisiting Maria Montessori’s Journey, A Montessori Workbook, Volumes 1, 2, 3 and The Inspired Child. Book list available here. /

We Can't Go Back – Microaggressions and Antiracist Practices in the Montessori Classroom

Montessorians are learning the importance of deepening our practice with knowledge of a culturally changing world. Teachers and school leaders will learn how to put into practice the courageous work of changing race as a social construct in the classroom, examining our curriculum and materials, and how children and staff are affected by micro, unconscious thoughts and practices. Attendees will receive a booklet on social justice terms and beginning race curriculum.

Cindy Acker

Dr. Acker serves as principal of The Child Unique/Montessori Elementary Intermediate School of Alameda for 37 years. She holds degrees in education, Human Development and Culture & Spirituality. Cindy graduated from UC Berkeley with a doctorate in Educational Leadership. Cindy has served in public policy, as former VP of the National Child Care Association and policy adviser, representing Montessori schools. Cindy leads the Social Justice Task Force for the International Montessori Council, holding weekly IMC Town Halls on individual and systemic racism. She is a published author and an international keynote speaker, specializing in social justice and racism issues.

The power of storytelling

Storytelling is an integral part of being human within a community. Sometimes, people either don't feel confident telling stories and might not understand why storytelling is important. Our presentation helps people understand why storytelling is important for learning and education and how to be a great storyteller.

Letty Rising

Ms. Letty Rising earned her B.A. in Sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, obtained her State Teaching Credential through the California State University, San Marcos, and participated in AMS Montessori training for ages 6-9, before earning her AMI elementary diploma for ages 6-12 and M.Ed from Loyola University in Maryland. Ms. Rising moved into her first administrative role because she wanted a Montessori school for her daughters and there were none in existence where she lived, so she started one! She has held positions as a Homeschool Education Specialist, Montessori Elementary Teacher, School Director, Principal, Montessori Coordinator, Teacher Trainer, and Consultant with several different Montessori communities over the years, working in schools with children from infant through adolescence throughout the United States and worldwide. In addition, she frequently blogs for Montessori organizations and has developed online courses for Montessori teachers and homeschool parents.

Jana Morgan Herman

Jana earned her B.A. in English Literature from Indiana University, New Albany, and obtained her State Teaching Credential with a Reading Specialist Endorsement from the state of Indiana. She earned her Master's in Education with an emphasis in Montessori Education through the St Catherine University, St. Paul, MN. Jana holds AMS 2.5-6 certification, an AMI Assistant´s certificate for 0-3, and RIE Level 1 from Ruth Anne Hammond and Deborah Greenwald, and participated in CGMS 6-12 training, and Administrative coursework through the Montessori Foundation. Jana started her Montessori journey when her children were infants, and led 3-6 classrooms from 1999 to 2015, before transitioning to a director position at one of the longest-running Montessori schools in Louisville. In 2001, she started as an instructor for an AMS/MACTE TEP. Today, she teaches for a number of MACTE teacher education programs in the US and Asia and is the Director of VMAT, a MACTE/IMC TEP in Hanoi, Vietnam. She has held positions as a long-term substitute, Education Specialist, Lead Teacher, Montessori Elementary Teacher, School Director, Montessori Level Coordinator, and Consultant. Jana has developed online courses for Montessori teachers and homeschool parents and offers continued support to parents and mentorship to teachers, which brings her great joy. She also cares for her infant granddaughter on weekday mornings, which is the best kind of training she could engage in at the moment.

Setting the Tone and Culture of Your School

This presentation will lead you through a journey of understanding the origins of school culture and how to influence that positive tone and culture that you want for your school.

  • Understand yourself under stress and what you invite from your constituents
  • What is your staff, parent and student behavior telling you?
  • What is the need behind the behavior and how do you meet that need?
  • Establishing accountability in relationships - recognizing the drama triangle
  • Breaking the drama in classrooms, with staff and with parents.

Shawn Edwards

Shawn Edwards received her B.A. in Psychology and Human Services, her AMI Elementary Montessori training and certification, her M.A. in Transformational Coaching and Leadership.  She is also a Positive Discipline parenting coach and trainer. She began her Montessori career at the Post Oak School in Houston, Texas. In 2006, she moved to Chicago to lead the Alcuin Montessori School, followed by a transfer back to Texas as the Executive Director of the Community Montessori School in Georgetown, Texas. Ms. Edwards has also served as a consultant to various schools and organizations across the country. She has been involved in various leadership training including school leadership courses offered through Independent School Management and the National Association of Independent Schools.  She is currently the Head of School at a LePort Montessori school in Solana Beach, Ca. and the owner of her newest initiative:  ToolHows – „How to Tools for Parents and Schools.“

Shawn has been married for over 30 years, has three grown children (all who attended Montessori programs), and is a proud grandmother of two Montessori children. When she is not working or studying, she enjoys hiking, camping, reading, writing, participating in and training for adventure runs, and spending time with family.

The Great Work

We live now in an ever-changing future. Dr. Montessori understood that children must develop their abilities to think and adapt. When children, drawn to the amazing Montessori materials, work with repetition, they develop several routines of thinking. But we need to go further.

In this presentation, we will build upon our legacy by defining and experiencing additional thinking routines that can be included in our "4th period" lessons. We will:

  • Define thinking
  • Identify the 5 thinking routines already imbedded in the Montessori materials
  • Define thinking routines
  • Understand how thinking routines can occur as "4th period" lesson
  • Demonstrate how to incorporate these thinking routines in your lessons with children

Dr. Paul Epstein

Paul is the educational director of Designs for Lifelong Learning. He has worked in education as an administrator, university professor, teacher trainer, classroom teacher, researcher, consultant, and author.

A highly regarded international and inspirational speaker, Paul brings transformative learning experiences to educators and parents throughout the world. He is the author of numerous articles and books including An Observer’s Notebook: Learning from Children with the Observation C.O.R.E. He is also the co-author of The 60-Day Montessori Observation Workbook and The Montessori Way, a definitive work on the Montessori experience.

His administrative experiences include working as a head of Montessori schools, and he brought the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program to one of the schools. Paul also works as a director and instructor of Montessori teacher education programs. He has been a Montessori classroom teacher in Montessori early childhood, middle, and high school programs.

Paul holds Montessori teacher certification in early childhood and secondary levels one and two from the American Montessori Society and his doctorate is in Cultural Anthropology.

Positive Growth: Navigating Emotions & Creating Healthy Boundaries

Our toddlers are discovering the world and how to adapt to their time. Struggles, frustration, problem solving and all that comes with this is part of their journey. As adults we need to be ok with all the forms of emotions they express and support them by giving appropriate space to try and fail instead of doing it for them to keep them always happy. 

Wendy Kaneshige

My names is Wendy Kaneshige. I am at a point were my passion and my work is one. Working with the children in the classroom lights me up and fills up my heart with so much joy. But our work goes beyond the classroom. I found my purpose in helping families in their home setting, providing the tools to understand their toddler and his needs; as well helping other Montessori guides prepare their environments to fit the needs of the children. Being the support system needed to better themselves and better serve the families in their communities.  Creator of: 

Day 2 • April 20, 2021

Unpacking Freedom in the Montessori Environment

One of the most common misconceptions of Montessori schools is that children don’t have to do anything if they don’t want to. Dr Montessori advocated freedom as “the key to the process of development” but what did she mean by freedom? 

Why should children have freedom? How should a teacher facilitate freedom in the class? 

This talk seeks to answer these questions and to explore the concept of freedom and its place and application in a Montessori 3-6 Environment.

Shamiemah Jassiem

Shamiemah Jassiem is a Montessori Teacher Trainer with over 15 years of training experience and over 7 years of experience as an office manager and principal at various Montessori schools. She has presented at several conferences and conducted numerous Montessori workshops in both townships, villages, and more affluent areas in South Africa and Ghana. She is passionate about sharing the Montessori Philosophy and method with others and welcomes this opportunity to reach people from all around the world. Reach out if you would like to connect with her:

Brain and Learning 0 to 6: How to prepare your child for school

Leading pediatricians warn that many children entering school lack the skills they need to succeed in class. In early brain development, neural connections are made on the basis of early experiences and relationships with parents, siblings and community members. You can help your child be better prepared for school - this workshop and the learning journal you will be able to download were designed to help you understand what you can do to get your baby off to the best start by using brain-based principles in your every day interactions and activities.

Olimpia Mesa

Author of How People Learn book and leading expert and consultant on brain-based learning design. She is the president of Instructional Design Inc., a company behind hundreds of successful corporate and educational programs both online and in-person, delivered in a variety of different languages. In addition to consulting with Fortune 500 organisations on learning projects, Olimpia is the founder of Book to Courses™ Online School whose main goal is to teach authors how to transform a nonfictional book into live courses or apps.

Behaviors in the Early Childhood Montessori Classroom


  • Identify growing trends of students with special needs and define how the Montessori Method is able to meet the needs of students with varying exceptionalities 
  • Learn and identify concepts: Behavior, Executive Functioning Skills, Social Engagement.
  • Learn how to build positive relationships, tailor the environment and utilize specific interventions to meet the needs of each student in the classroom
  • Understand the role of observation and implement observation methods regularly
  • Learn specific intervention strategies and lesson adaptions to apply when working with students in 3 different levels: whole group, small group and 1:1
  • Optimize relationships with staff, administration and caregivers to build teams of support and access necessary resources

Maria Eva Chaffin

Maria Eva Chaffin is originally from Venezuela. She is married with three boys and two dogs. She is in the process of completing her Doctoral Dissertation in Organizational Leadership. She holds a Master of Science in Exceptional Student Education, a Master’s Degree in Business Education, a Bachelor’s in Special Education, as well as a Montessori Teacher Certification in early childhood. Maria Eva is the founder of Seeds of Life Montessori Academy and Challenging Children and Montessori, a consultant, and a Faculty member of Sarasota University, where she is a professor in the Montessori Master Program. She has over 21 years of teaching experience and has been in the Montessori field for 10 years. It is her great passion to work with children with special needs and since completing her Montessori training she has fallen in love with the method. With her background and experience, she is convinced that the Montessori method is the best way for children to learn.

Method to Music

Frank Leto shares his unique approach to passing on the language of music to young children. His method utilizes a multi-sensory approach that is designed to engage the child on many levels. Frank’s original songs are sung in an “echo”, or call and response. The songs also incorporate corresponding hand motions, making the experience fun and extremely engaging.

An appropriate music curriculum has many benefits for the young child, whether in the classroom or in the home.

Frank’s Method to music can give your child(ren) the gift of music.

Frank Leto

Frank Leto is an early childhood educator, a musician, a composer and a Montessori teacher who has been working in Montessori schools through out the country for 40 years. He is also a professional musician, Orff music teacher and steel band director. He brilliantly combines his skills as both teacher and musician to create a sound that children love! Frank’s music for children is exceptionally popular with teachers and parents throughout the United States. His music is designed to encourage children’s participation through singing, dancing, fingerplays, games and exercises. Frank has ten interactive, multicultural CD’s, two of which have won educational awards. Some of his music is also available in Spanish and Mandarin. He also has a curriculum book, “Method to Music” which outlines his unique approach to music education. Frank Leto travels nationally and internationally, presenting keynote speeches and workshops at educational conferences including the Music Educators Association (MEA), the Association for the Education of Young Children (AEYC), the Chinese Montessori Society (CMS) and the American Montessori Society to name a few. Frank’s clinics promote his own approach to imparting the love of music on to children. His interactive workshops are designed for non-musicians. In the course of a single workshop, attendees are singing, dancing and playing instruments with a new sense of confidence. With newly learned skills, they enthusiastically return to the classroom and enrich the child’s musical environment.

Join my weekly virtual music class.


How to ask your child questions that let her know you love her mind

Attention is love.  Those aspects of our children that we focus on and nurture will blossom and grow.  If we love our children's minds, then their minds will grow.  But we must show, not tell.  That is, in order to love our child's mind, it is important that we interact with their intellect in a manner that let's them know that their minds and thought matter to us.  How do we ask questions that invisibly let our children know that their minds are loved?  This session will provide both concrete examples and general guidance on how to love your children's minds in such a manner that their intellects will blossom in the light of your love and attention.

Michael Strong

Michael Strong is the founder of Expanse, a virtual middle school based on warm peer relationships, including Socratic dialogue, team projects, and personal mentoring.  He is an experienced school creator whose projects include Moreno Valley High School, a charter school in New Mexico ranked the 36th best public school in the U.S. by Newsweek; Winston Academy, a school for highly gifted students in Florida who successfully completed AP exams; and The Academy of Thought and Industry, the high school model for the largest U.S. Montessori network. He is the author of The Habit of Thought: From Socratic Seminars to Socratic Practice and Be the Solution: How Entrepreneurs and Conscious Capitalists Can Solve All the World’s Problems.

Honest Conversations

Understanding how our language affects both our children and ourselves, opens an incredibly powerful gateway to nurturing authenticity and cultivating respect. In this talk, we will explore the potent effects that self-exploration and raw honesty have on our relationships and on the development of the adult that our children will become.

Paula Zhou

An advocate for respectful and effective communication, Paula has worked in Early Childhood education in China for more than 20 years. An experienced Montessorian and teacher trainer for the 0-6 age group, Paula is also a parenting specialist/family consultant and a licensed Gordon Training International Parent Effectiveness Training (P.E.T.) Instructor. A sought after speaker at international conferences, Paula connects with her audiences through humour and anecdotal experience, drawn from both her years of working with children and their families as well as from co-parenting her own, cross-cultural family. Paula is intensely fascinated by the mind and the study of human behaviour and is an ongoing student of Interpersonal Neurobiology. She is also a children’s yoga and mindfulness guide and believes strongly in the importance of arming our children with the skills of mindfulness and emotional regulation. 

A TEDx speaker, Paula’s recent passionate talk on the importance of listening to children has been shared extensively throughout the world. Paula is the co-founder of Insight Education, a consultancy practice with a mission to nurture the healthy growth of every child through supporting schools, families and communities world-wide and currently works as the Director of Programs for Higher Ground Education/Guidepost Montessori, China.

Global Association of Montessori Education and Sport

Dr. Montessori said that sports “challenge us to acquire a new skill and that this feeling of enhancing our abilities is the real source of delight in the game.”

Join us to discover ways to help children find this enjoyment, to develop new skills, as well as live healthier and happier lives.

We will also discuss the role of exercise in education, science and sustainability, and how sport can be used to connect us all, even during recent times of crisis. 

We believe sports can truly help "Uncover the Universal Potential of Childhood".


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Roelant Wijngaards

Montessori educator at Montessori College, Nijmegen, the Netherlands, board member at Montessori Europe and director of communication for GAMES.

Aiden Bloodworth

Montessori educator in an elementary school in China and director of strategy for GAMES.

We at GAMES believe that sports have the power to unite people and to be a driver for social change, while also encouraging teamwork, health and personal growth.

As a nonprofit organization, our goals are purely that of promoting peace education, cultural understanding and international friendship, by connecting people through sport, education and shared culture. 

Typically Montessori, our events have no winners or prizes. Instead, we remove the competition and combine children of mixed age, gender and nationality, to participate in the Olympic spirit of fun, friendship, solidarity and fair play.

The Montessori Midwife:Understanding the Basic Needs of the Mother and the Unborn and Newborn Child

As a Montessori Directress, it is our role to create an environment that meets each individual child’s needs and to elicit spontaneous learning. It is similar for the birth attendant caring for the pregnant, labouring and new mother with her newborn. When we know and have internalised the basic needs of the woman and her baby we are able to create an environment where the spontaneous birthing and bonding of the mother and baby can take place. 


The Montessori Directress understands the prepared environment and the sensitive periods of the child, and in a similar way, the birth attendant must understand the sensitive periods of the mother and the baby.


“One cannot help an involuntary process, the point is not to disturb it.”  - Michel Odent


“To assist a child we must provide him with an environment which will enable him to develop freely.” - Maria Montessori

Ruth Ehrhardt

I am trained as a Certified Professional Midwife (NARM), a doula (WOMBS (ZA) / Paramanadoula (UK)), and a Helping Babies Breathe and Helping Mothers Survive facilitator and master trainer.

Originally born in Switzerland, I moved to South Africa with my South African-born mother and younger sister when I was eight years old and have lived there ever since. My mother Carol, bought a protea flower farm an hour outside of Ceres ( a small town, approximately 2 1/2 hours from Cape Town) and accidentally ‘fell’ into catching the babies of the local farm labourers who called for her because she had ‘healing hands.’ My mother was the midwife for my first birth.

The mother of four home birthed children, I trained as a WOMBS doula with Irene Bourquin in 2009.

I completed the Paramana doula course with Dr Michel Odent and doula Lilliana Lammers in London in 2010 and studied Advanced Midwifery with Ina May Gaskin, Pamela Hunt and the Farm Midwives in 2011.

With colleague Lana Petersen, I started Home Birth South Africa in 2010,  a web database for those seeking information and advice on home birth in South Africa. Together, we also run the Cape Town Home Birth Gatherings, a quarterly gathering for those seeking information and support on home birth in Cape Town and surrounds.

I am part of the team that organises The Cape Town Midwifery and Birth Conference, which is aimed at sharing and collaboration between South African birth professionals and the women they serve for the purpose of promoting and supporting safe pregnancies and births.

I am the author of The Basic Needs of a Woman in Labour, a book based on the work of Dr Michel Odent and which explores the hormone oxytocin and the environmental factors that affect it. The book is available in English, Italian, Russian and Portuguese – with many more translations on the way!

The Importance of Outdoor Play

What if I told you there was ONE thing that would help your child become healthier, happier, more independent, coordinated, creative and confident? Spending time in nature and playing outdoors does all that and more! I’ll explain why it’s so important to get your kids outside, provide practical tips to help you get out the door, and easy ideas for fun things to do outside.

Sara McCarty

Sara McCarty is the founder of Run Wild My Child, an online resource dedicated to getting kids (and their parents) outside and into nature, one adventure at a time. An attorney by day and mother of three (ages 8, 6, and 2), Sara started blogging over 10 years ago and wrote for several large publications on parenting. Her posts about her family's outdoor adventures while camping, fly fishing, hiking, and creeking were always the most popular, so she started Run Wild My Child in 2017 to help inspire other families to get outdoors with their kids and foster a love of nature. Run Wild My Child helps parents take the guesswork out of being outdoors by providing practical advice, fun and easy outdoor activities for kids of all ages, kid-friendly gear recommendations, family travel tips, and nature-inspired educational resources.  

Raising a Peaceful Child: The Montessori Way at

In this lecture, we will ÿocus on the importance oÿ the prepared adult, prepared
environment, creatinĀ a culture oÿ spontaneous activity, observation, the role oÿ an adult
in the Montessori environment, and how to invite a child ÿor a presentation.
Learner Outcomes
● To further understand the relationship between child, the adult, and the Montessori
● To understand the importance oÿ spontaneous activity in the learninĀ experience.
● To create a culture oÿ spontaneous activity throuĀh observation.

Disha Bonner

I am a Primary & Elementary Certified
Montessori Teacher. Prior to becoming a
parent, I worked as a teacher and as a
Curriculum Coordinator ÿor many years in a
Charter Montessori School. I have a
Masters in Elementary Education with
specialization in Montessori. I have
researched, designed curriculums and
assisted my school in achievinĀ AMS
accreditation. After becoming a mom, I
have poured all my passion and experience
into creating a culture of respect, love, and
peace for my son.

Day 3 • April 21, 2021

Parenting with Emotional Intelligence and Love

This presentation blends Montessori philosophy, Positive Discipline approaches and coaching strategies to provide parents and educators tools to help them invite cooperation, harmony and joy in their homes and classrooms.  Perfect for school leaders too!


  • Who are you and what might you be inviting from children?
  • Fostering important perceptions and skills in children (and self)
  • Identifying the need behind the behavior
  • Meeting those needs with tools of encouragement and empowerment.

Ferne van Zyl

Shawn Edwards received her B.A. in Psychology and Human Services, her AMI Elementary Montessori training and certification, her M.A. in Transformational Coaching and Leadership.  She is also a Positive Discipline parenting coach and trainer. She began her Montessori career at the Post Oak School in Houston, Texas. In 2006, she moved to Chicago to lead the Alcuin Montessori School, followed by a transfer back to Texas as the Executive Director of the Community Montessori School in Georgetown, Texas. Ms. Edwards has also served as a consultant to various schools and organizations across the country. She has been involved in various leadership training including school leadership courses offered through Independent School Management and the National Association of Independent Schools.  She is currently the Head of School at a LePort Montessori school in Solana Beach, Ca. and the owner of her newest initiative:  ToolHows – „How to Tools for Parents and Schools.“

Shawn has been married for over 30 years, has three grown children (all who attended Montessori programs), and is a proud grandmother of two Montessori children. When she is not working or studying, she enjoys hiking, camping, reading, writing, participating in and training for adventure runs, and spending time with family.

The importance of attachment in the first three years of life

Life is a chain of attachment and separation. We have to let go of something to allow the next attachment to happen. Life is always heading towards something greater and better. 

Today more than ever, the emotional aspect of a child's development should be observed and handled with care and knowledge.  As Adults, we can play a large psychological role in the child’s attachment process by modeling healthy human attitudes and behaviors. 

When there is a positive attachment, the connected separation also has a positive potential, which affects the next attachment, and so on.  In this session, we will talk about why attachment is essential for a child’s development? How does a sting attachment lead to healthier and smoother separation? 

Gabriela Velazquez


Education in nature

Education in Nature offers children unique, unparalleled sensory experiences, and is the most effective increase in mental and physical well-being. In nature, children develop their empathy, patience, and self-confidence, attitudes such as curiosity, responsibility, and empowerment, skills such as observation, communication, collaboration, and problem-solving. Its goal is on the process of learning, not the end result, thus children become more creative, critical, reflective, intuitive, innovative, and active thinkers.


This session is a practical workshop for anyone to follow, on how to approach Education in Nature and how to develop the Explorer's Mindset.

George Năzăreanu

I am a curious biologist, visual artist, storyteller, National Geographic Educator, and have been an explorer since I was 5 years old. I have worked for 10 years in Educational and Scientific research at the National Natural History Museum and for the past 5 years, I work as a Naturalist Teacher at Karin's Kids Academy, Bucharest, Romania.


Knowing that play is the most effective way children learn, I develop innovative play-based educational projects in Early Childhood Education at Karin's Kids Academy and I inspire children to develop their Explorer's Mindset through authentic learning experiences.

Arrange Your Toddler's Room to Support Concentration

Bored toddlers become imaginative. Overstimulated toddlers become deviant. As a parent, you are the most important educator in your child’s life. They learn so rapidly, and because you are practicing observation and being present with them, you can adapt their environment to offer new challenges and build their self esteem. Join Katelynn's workshop to learn everything about arranging a Montessori movement area for your toddler which supports learning and concentration.

Katelynn Johnson

Katelynn Johnson is the founder, director, and sole teacher at Germany's 1st Montessori early learning center. At her school, Montessori Mother ELC, 80 toddlers and babies attend 1-2 hour Montessori classes with their parents every week. Katelynn is an AMI-certified Assistant to Infancy. She has been teaching for over eight years and is specialised in multilingual environments and language development.

The observant mind: Lighting the Pathway to Follow the Child

We all know that observation is essential to the work of the Montessori guide, yet most Montessori educators struggle to make it the cornerstone of their practice. In this session we explore how to develop an “observant mind,” that can serve as our guide for supporting the unique potential of every child. The session will address when, what, what and how to observe with practical tips for making it a daily and constant habit. But observation alone is not enough. Once we have the information, what do we do with it? How do we use it to guide our work? Come explore this important topic and learn about how the cycle of observation can help us follow the child.

Kitty Bravo

Kitty Bravo has been a Montessori Educator for over 40 years, with experience as a teacher, administrator, board member, teacher educator, and consultant.  She received her AMI Primary Montessori Certification in 1977 and has a BA in Human Development from Eckerd College. Kitty is one of the founders of The Center for Guided Montessori Studies and currently serves as the Director of Education.  She is a member of the International Montessori Council (IMC) Board of Trustees where she also serves as the Chair of the IMC Teacher Education Committee and is on the IMC Social Justice Task Group for Teacher Education. Kitty is committed to providing support to teachers, schools and families as they strive to develop positive learning environments for children.

Recent scientific recommendations for teaching Mathematics and Sciences: How Dr Montessori saw all of this in 1907

A study (Nov.2020) by the Science and Technology Academies in France has recently made recommendations on how to best teach mathematics, technology and the sciences to students in the National Education system, for teachers and for teacher trainers. Unsurprisingly, all of these recommendations validate what we currently do in a proper AMI Montessori school: mixed ages, child-led study, and the joy of learning, generally. I will bridge research from today’s scientific and and cognitive scientists’ research and what is done on a practical level in the Montessori classroom. 

Laurent Lavollay-Porter

Laurent Lavollay-Porter is a Franco-American bilingual (English & French) Montessorian. A Montessori child himself and AMI trained at the 3-6 and 6-12 levels (Maria Montessori Insitute in London), Laurent spent 5 years as a Children’s House guide and one year as an Elementary guide, above being the administrator. Laurent has consulted for various school creations internationally and speaks regularly at Montessori conferences. He is passionate about pure Montessori education, bilingualism and the scientific approach to child development.  Laurent is the Director of Development for the Bilingual Montessori School of Paris, At Montessori and Penrith Education in Paris, France. His mother Barbara founded the School in 1972 ( and received her diploma from Dr Mario Montessori himself in Washington D.C. back in 1965.

Science Experiments: Maria Montessori’s Vision for Practical Life in the Elementary Years

When should you start introducing “science”? What does science education look like in Montessori? We will take you through the process of creating a prepared scientific learning environment from set-up to clean-up. We will also discuss how the process of experimentation relates to practical life and supports executive functioning skills as you move into the second plane of development.

Letty Rising

Letty is an International Montessori consultant. She holds an AMI elementary diploma for ages 6-12 and an M.Ed from Loyola University in Maryland. She has held positions as a Montessori Elementary Teacher, Education Coordinator, Homeschool Education Specialist, and Head of School in several different Montessori communities over the years. She loves helping young learners discover their interests and strengths.

Zoe Rising

Laurent Lavollay-Porter is a Franco-American bilingual (English & French) Montessorian. A Montessori child himself and AMI trained at the 3-6 and 6-12 levels (Maria Montessori Insitute in London), Laurent spent 5 years as a Children’s House guide and one year as an Elementary guide, above being the administrator. Laurent has consulted for various school creations internationally and speaks regularly at Montessori conferences. He is passionate about pure Montessori education, bilingualism and the scientific approach to child development.  Laurent is the Director of Development for the Bilingual Montessori School of Paris, At Montessori and Penrith Education in Paris, France. His mother Barbara founded the School in 1972 ( and received her diploma from Dr Mario Montessori himself in Washington D.C. back in 1965.

The Environment of Life After Birth

We will focus on the months following birth, as the infant interacts within the
environment of the family, transitioning and adapting to life in the world. During this
period, both mother and baby move through a natural process of attachment and
separation, helping each other come into acceptance of their new lives.
We will explore the needs of the newborn, living in the period of the Unconscious Mind,
and the Sensitive Periods, as well as areas of care in the home environment.
This process centers on relationship and connection, which is essential and ongoing.

Pamela Green

Pamela Green is the mother of two sons, a Montessori parent, and Grandmother. She is
the owner of Ananda Montessori, a Montessori Playgroup in North East, Pa. She has
been teaching and administrating in Montessori as a credentialed (Early Childhood,
Elementary I & II, Parent-Infant Facilitator Training), and Positive Discipline Parent
Educator, for over thirty years. Since 1990, she has served as a birth doula, midwife
assistant, and childbirth educator. In addition, Pamela offers online courses on parenting,
creating Montessori Playgroups and Positive Discipline, and is a consultant and mentor to
teachers, staff, schools, and parents, worldwide.
Along with these activities, Pamela loves to spend time outdoors, gardening, reading,
and sailing on the waters of Lake Erie.

What Can We Do? Preparation of the Adult

Montessori pedagogy depends on the interaction between the child, environment and the adult. Whether we are a parent, teacher, or both as a homeschooler, to be guided by Montessori requires we constantly work to undo the assumptions we might have about the children we work with and be present each moment to observe what they truly need or are ready for.  Dr Montessori spoke of being a saint, servant and scientist.  We will discuss and explore what it means to be the saint, servant and scientist, what the challenges are as well as how to continue growth in all three areas.

Margaret Whitley

Margaret Whitley is a speaker, writer, Montessori consultant and lifelong learner.  After attending Montessori as a child and completing elementary teacher training in Italy, she spent more than 35 years in Montessori education, including teaching all levels of elementary and establishing the first Montessori middle school in Canada in 1988. She embraced many other roles in Montessori leadership including head of school, Montessori parent, teacher trainer and Director of School Accreditation.  Guided by her belief that all humans have incredible potential, she continues highlighting education that supports and celebrates community and individual’s uniqueness. Margaret is completing an educational memoir, A World of Difference.

The Importance of the Practical Life activities

The Practical Life activities encourage the development of independence and foster each child’s adaptation to the social context of his or her environment. Although the activities are largely skill oriented (i.e. learning how to wash a table), their purpose is not that children master these tasks for their own sake. Rather, the primary goal is to aid each child’s inner construction through precision and in concentration during full cycles of activity. Join Mrs. Houston, who was trained by Mario Montessori and others who were Dr. Montessori’s closest associates, speak about the importance of the Practical Life activities.

Sandra Houston

Sandra Houston is a seasoned Montessorian with over 50 years of experience as a primary and charter school founder, Montessori teacher, administrator, teacher trainer and leadership consultant. She holds a BA in Education and various other certifications. She has trained under Dr. & Mrs. Claude Claremont, Ms. Lena Wikramaratne, Estella C. Palmieri and Mario Montessori, among others. Sandra has served as an evaluator for MACTE and NCA. She has founded, owned and operated nine primary schools and founded five Montessori charter schools. She has spoken at several conferences and published numerous articles in educational magazines.  Sandra has just launched her business, Montessori “N” More to promote various custom curriculum materials that she has created along with the lost Montessori curriculum that belonged to the Claremont’s.

How to Make Observation the Key to Connection with Your Children and Your Most Consistent "Best Practice"

The Montessori Method is based on a clear and consistent practice of observation. In The Advanced Montessori Method, Vol 1, Dr. Montessori writes, "it is necessary that she (the guide) should put herself into immediate relation with the truth by means of rigorous observation..."  Yet, observation can be the part of our practice that gets replaced with more lessons, micro-managing the activities, or simply staying on top of the never-ending "to-do lists."  The irony is that with regular, reflective observation practice, many of the items on our To-Do lists will vanish because the actions we take will be more focused, on-point, and efficient. I'll guide you in a journey of discovery with the end result being an observation ritual that will create deeper connections, more purposeful actions, and the outcomes you're seeking. 

Claudia Mann

Since 1983, Claudia Mann has been enchanted with Montessori education. Certified Elementary I, II and Secondary I, Ms. Mann has guided children and adults in classrooms and schools to be passionate learners, sustaining Cosmic Education as the heart and soul of the Montessori vision. After more than 25 years in the classroom, Ms. Mann was part of the founding team at Chaffee County Montessori School in Salida, CO. After nearly 10 years with CCMS, she and her husband relocated to southern California where she became the Head of School for LePort Montessori Encinitas. Ms. Mann currently coaches teachers and school leaders both onsite and online through and

Spending Quality time with Children

Are your little children dying for your attention and time? Does work take up most of your time? 

         Our little ones will only remain little for so long. It is essential that we reserve some time for our children in our busy schedule. We will share some ideas on how to spend quality time with them.


James Lu

  • Trainer of Montessori Teacher Preparation International (MTPI)&MTP OF WA
  • Montessori Certificated Teacher from 0-12 years
  • AMI Assistants to Infancy Certificated Teacher (0-3)
  • AMI Montessori Institute of Atlanta Foundation course(3-6)
  • AMI Montessori Institute of Atlanta Certificated Elementary Teacher (6-12)
  • University of Leeds, UK - M.A. (Hons) in International Communication
  • Communication University of China - M.A.(Hons) in Television Arts and Technology
  • Communication University of China - B.A. (Hons) in Television Journalism
    Dad of 4 kids, Living in GA, USA

Michelle Gao

  • Trainer of Montessori Teacher Preparation International (MTPI)&MTP OF WA
  • Montessori Certificated Teacher from 0-12years
  • Founder of Luna Montessori International(LMI)
  • MIA Montessori Institute OF America certificated Teacher (0-6years)
  • AMI Montessori Institute of Atlanta Foundation course(3-6years)
  • AMI Montessori Institute of Atlanta Certificated Elementary Teacher (6-12years)
  • Mom of 4 kids, Living in GA,USA

Key Elements for Understanding Your Child’s Drawing

Children love to scribble with random shapes and lines. Have you ever wondered if there are any hidden meanings of their creative intentions? Are you someone who finds it fascinating to watch a child create a drawing and wonder how that drawing can tell you about their inner world point of view or even how it speaks about their personality? In my session I will share some interesting elements we tend to see from children’s drawings. The intent is to educate ourselves on what to look for when we look at our children’s drawings. It can be a fun journey as our children’s drawings change, often in unison with certain developmental stages.

Meishan Hutchison

Meishan is a bilingual artist and educator who has a keen ability to see the distinct intricacies of the world around her. As a practicing artist, Meishan weaves her life experiences into her art. As an educator, Meishan has held numerous roles in primary and secondary educations as well as higher education. With her own international education experiences, she is eager to promote the creative learning through art globally. To simply bring more creative art experiences to more families and make art accessible to all. 

Key Elements From baby to Toddler – How to follow your Montessori child. Understanding Your Child’s Drawing

Welcoming a child into your home is the most precious moment for a family but it can also be a
transitional period for everyone involved. During our time together we will reflect on how we can
prepare the environment for welcoming the Montessori baby into our home and how to transform
the home to prepare for a moving toddler.
We will talk about how to set up the spaces and how to accompany you and your child throughout
the first years of life. We will talk about sensory periods, respect, order, outcome of independence,
Montessori activities, curriculum, and how to encourage parents to see how the child is our most
precious teacher.

Neus Carmona

Neus holds a Master’s degree in Early
Childhood Education with emphasis in
Montessori education. She has also
been a Montessori Toddler and Early
Childhood Certified Teacher for the
past eight years. Neus was drawn to the
Montessori philosophy because of the
hands-on approach to learning and the
emphasis on the individual child as well
as their responsibilities and
independence. She enjoys working with children, and loves watching their eyes light up when they
grasp a new concept. She has recently become a mom of a wonderful girl. She offers 1:1 Infant and
toddler parent consultations and workshops. Connect with her through her Instagram page
@montessorianbyheart or send her an e-mail at

Inclusive Values are Montessori Values

This session will focus on the link between the values that support the inclusion of children who learn differently in classroom communities with their same age peers and the shared values that we hold as Montessorians. These values, identified during the Circle of Inclusion Project, hold the key to successful inclusive experiences. Montessori told us to follow the child. This mandate applies to all children, not just those whose development unfolds typically. Dr. Montessori’s work was rooted in her experiences with children with special needs, so Montessori environments and communities hold many advantages for children who experience developmental challenges or delays. Conversely, inclusive experiences offer a broad range of benefits to children who are more typical in their development. Find out why and how you can support inclusive experiences in your classroom community. You can help all children reach their potential.

Pamela Shanks

Pam Shanks has been involved in both Montessori and special education for her entire teaching career. In addition to her AMS 3-6 credential, Pam earned a master’s degree in special education from the University of Kansas and held licensing for early childhood education, early childhood special education, and severe multiple disabilities while teaching in Kansas. She worked as a lead teacher in a primary classroom at Raintree Montessori School, Lawrence, KS, for over 30 years. She coordinated the program of inclusion at Raintree while also serving as a supervising teacher for graduate practicum students from KU’s department of special education placed at Raintree. She served as a Field Based Consultant for the entire tenure of the Inclusive Network of Kansas (INKS) and was an instructor for the University of East Carolina's Deafblind Intervener Program for several years. She has presented at a variety of conferences including the Montessori World Congress in Portland; authored many articles on special education in Montessori environments; was a contributing author for 2 books; and authored several on-line modules on special education topics. She currently serves as the Associate Head of School at Bowman School in Palo Alto, CA where she continues to support Montessori teachers and inclusive education.

Day 4 • April 24, 2021

Montessori N.E.S.T: A framework for preparing your home environment

The acronym N.E.S.T. is a handy way to think about all of the elements of your home environment - tangible and intangible - that guide your child to be independent, cooperative, and joyful at home. N represents nooks, which include the areas of the home that are set up for a specific purpose like getting ready for the day or toileting. E is for equipment, which, for small children, largely means toys. S is for spirit and includes the way all family members take in the home with their senses. T stands for trimmings, which refers to the points of beauty, like vases of flowers, and other small touches around the home. As we walk through each area, you will see examples of home environments and hear stories about my own successes and failures at trying to create a child friendly home. You will walk away from this presentation with concrete ideas that you can implement at home right away!

Anna Langstaff

Anna Langstaff has spent the past fifteen years teaching in Montessori primary and elementary classrooms and working with teachers in training in the US and abroad. She is currently the Head of School at Whole Child Montessori Center in Portland, Oregon. She holds a BA from the University of Michigan and is Montessori credentialed for ages 3-12. She is currently a graduate student at Portland State University pursuing a Masters in Inclusive Early Childhood Education with a focus on special education and infant/toddler mental health. Anna is the parent of a six year old who has developmental language disorder and an intellectual disability. His years in the Montessori classroom have helped him thrive. In her free time she loves reading, hiking, trying new recipes and spending time with her family.

The Absorbent Mind

Dr. Maria Montessori, through her scientific observation of children, had concluded that the INFANCY Plane (first stage) of the development of self as an individual, lasting from birth till six years, is a period of The Absorbent Mind. Children are literally like sponges during this plane, capable of absorbing information and knowledge spontaneously, quickly, and effortlessly. Moreover, during the Absorbent Mind developmental plane, children are "sensorial explorers" who perceive their world through SENSES. Dr. Maria Montessori, through extensive observation,  discovered that all children follow particular stages of development, called sensitive periods, which are very specific and well defined periods of intense interest in certain areas. Sometimes called developmental stages, these periods of times she referred to as a critical developmental window of opportunity, during which children acquire skills or knowledge with great ease, focus, high energy level, and dedication to a single-minded task. And most of these sensitive periods occur during a child's absorbent mind state.

Anya, Montessori From The Heart

Anya, Montessori From The Heart, Esq. turned SAHM, a blogger, an author, and a mentor. I help families, teachers, and educators to embark on an enchanting path of Montessori living by igniting the love of learning, espousing intrinsic motivation, and fostering independent thinking and creative problem-solving. An attorney by degree, I am an educator by heart! After discovering the Montessori way of life, I have embraced it wholeheartedly, raising and homeschooling two of my children, "the Montessori way." Being passionate about little people, the Montessori method, and the love of learning,  I respect and follow the child while offering a supportive and sufficiently stimulating prepared environment which spurs enthusiasm and hands-on exploration!  

My goal is to introduce the Montessori homeschool education model to parents, bringing Montessori to any home, despite the size or resource limitations. Montessori is the way of life, and all you have to do is embrace it and live it! Anyone can do it! To learn more you can follow my blog where you can find my ebook .


Writing Social Stories for the classroom and at home

Social stories are stories written by a parent or educator that objectively describe what has happened or will happen to a child without judgment or criticism. It can be supported by very simple pictures or photos. Social stories can be used to prepare children for new challenging experiences, such as transition to preschool, doctor’s appointments and traveling. They can also be used to help children process what has happened to them, especially if the situation was stressful. Stories can be used when something tragic occurred (e.g., a car accident or a death in the family) or for day-to-day situations (e.g., difficult day at the park or a scratched knee). The purpose of writing and reading this simple story is to start a conversation with your children when they are not feeling emotional, when instead they are ready to listen and integrate the information between their left and right brain.

The goal of my workshop is to guide parents and educators in writing social stories for children. In the workshops, we:

  • Discuss how social stories are a way to express respect towards children.
  • Explore situations when you may need to write a social story to support your child better.
  • Examine how social stories can help children cope or process challenging situations.
  • Discuss some guidelines on writing social stories.

Kira Solomatova

Kira Solomatova has a Bachelor’s Degree in Child Development. Although both of her parents were engineers, Kira dreamed about working with children from the time she was seven years old. Having taught preschool for many years in Pasadena, Kira discovered RIE® and became a RIE® Associate because not only is it inspirational because it advocates for babies, but because it has helped her to become more authentic. She published her first book, Toby is My Bear, as part of a conflict resolution series for preschoolers, and she has a blog about conflicts with toddlers and preschoolers, She founded Our Parenting Place with a partner, designed to help parents be more effective, find support, acquire information and network ( and has a wide following on social media. Kira teaches RIE® Parent-Infant Guidance™ classes, leads workshops, and offers private consultation in English and Russian.

How to Support the Development of Reading and Writing at Home

How can we help children learn to read and write at home while following Montessori principles? This talk will give parents concrete ways to support the development of reading and writing skills for children ages 2-6+ as well as a basis in understanding why we teach writing before reading, why we call letters by their sounds and not their names, and whether we should focus on spelling when a child first learns to write. We will also explore ways to support language development in bilingual and multilingual children. 

Gabrielle Kotkov, Multilingual Montessori

Gabrielle Kotkov is the creator of the Multilingual Montessori website and Instagram. She is an AMI- trained 3-6 Montessori Guide and a native of New York City. She earned her AMI 3-6 Diploma at the Maria Montessori Institute in London, England, and has worked in Montessori schools in New York, London, and Austin, Texas. She holds a bachelor's degree from Vassar College and a TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) Certificate from Teachers College Columbia University. She was awarded a Fulbright Grant to spend a year teaching English to Italian high schoolers in Catania, Sicily. Gabrielle is fluent in English and Italian, and also speaks French and a bit of Spanish. She currently works as a Montessori Children's House Guide and is earning a Masters in Child Studies degree from Linköping University in Sweden. 

Montessori as Mindful Education

This presentation asserts that Montessori for children and adult learners is mindful education. It responds to the question: What contexts and processes in education might liberate teachers and learners so that they become catalysts for the new human — one whose integral relationship with Gaia is bound by right-action and love?

Dr. Philip Snow Gang

Dr. Philip Snow Gang is Founder of The Institute for Educational Studies (TIES) and its graduate programs in Integrative Learning and Montessori Integrative Learning. He is a pioneer in the field of integrative, systemic and transformative approaches to education. He is the author of Rethinking Education, co-author of Conscious Education: The Bridge to Freedom and developer of the mobile mind-mapping simulation, Our Planet, Our Home. His new book, Educating for Right-Action and Love: Extending and Expanding the Montessori Vision will be released later this year.

Growing up in a multilingual environment

What is it like growing up with two or more languages? Nowadays more and more young children find themselves in an environment where more than one language is spoken.Does it confuse children to learn two or more languages at once? Let's see how we can support this process.

Lucie Hajkova

Lucie is a mum of two partly homeschooled multilingual kids and Montessori advocate. She is AMI 3-6 guide. She co-founded Montessori parental school in Italy. She has been for 3 years president of non-profit Montessori association there as well. She loves to travel and discover the world with her kids. She does Montessori consulting  for, and coordinates this wonderful conference.

Building Physical Literacy in Montessori

In Montessori, movement is a cornerstone of learning. Today, physical activity further proves crucial to counteract the modern trend towards increased sedentarism, exacerbated by isolation during the current pandemic and beyond. In this webinar, we will examine the concept of “physical literacy,” delving into different fundamental physical skills that set the foundation for an active lifestyle, supporting whole child development and wellbeing. We will further explore how the building of physical literacy can be integrated into the learning experience in a truly Montessori manner.

Barbara Murphy, PhD

Passionate about education, Barbara holds a PhD from Northwestern University. She also counts with a Montessori certificate from CGMS. Following her experience in academia, Barbara ventured into entrepreneurship. As the mother of two while living in Italy, she fell in love with the Montessori philosophy. Now the co-creator of Montessori Gym, Barbara is fulfilling her dream of contributing to child wellness and education.

Martin Yaconis, Engr.

After graduating as an Engineer from UBA University, Martin has dedicated his professional life to technology applied to health, sports and rehabilitation. His expertise and experience extend across the areas of physiological, biomechanical and cognitive training and monitoring, where Martin has worked with institutions such as Olympic committees, universities, professional sports teams, high performance athletes and young players’ academies.

I Can Do It!: Supporting Self-Efficacy in Montessori

Whatever we think, we’re right. If we think we’ll never run a marathon, or graduate high school, or learn how to tie our shoes, we’re right. Belief in yourself can limit, or can serve as stepping stones to growing abilities, seeking knowledge, and drive to achieve. How does Montessori philosophy supports development of self-efficacy? How can we explain this to current and prospective families and educators? How can the development of these internal skills help us adjust our perspective?

Charlotte Snyder

Charlotte Snyder is Head of School at The Baan Dek Montessori in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. She attended Montessori through Elementary in California, and completed the Primary training at Montessori Northwest in 2010, and earned a Master of Education degree from Loyola University Maryland. She particularly enjoys sharing Montessori  philosophy and building relationships with families on Baan Dek’s blog and podcast.

Today’s Children: Teaching Special Needs Learners

This 60- minute workshop will provide an overview of diversity and today’s learners with special needs, ideas, and strategies to create a supportive and responsive classroom to support diverse behavior and learning needs, and the important components for a successful inclusive Montessori classroom. The workshop will close with a brief response to the most commonly expressed concerns and  questions asked by Montessorians worldwide.

Christine Lowry

Christine Lowry, M.Ed./MA. With a Montessori credential and degrees in special education- birth to 21- Christine shares her extensive experience using special education practices that align with the Montessori philosophy and pedagogy. She is an adult educator who teaches online courses, offers customized professional development to districts and schools, and supports Montessori leaders and educators using a transformational coaching approach. Her courses and workshops are appreciated for their personable, practical approach with strategies that can be used in Montessori classrooms.

Christine has 40 years of experience in a variety of settings, including founding programs to serve special needs students in day treatment, public-school districts and two Montessori inclusive schools. With a commitment to research and evolving current best practices, she offers the knowledge, skills, and strategies that educators need to serve all kinds of learners.

Peaceful home - Possitive Parenting Montessori way

Jeanne-Marie Paynel

Day 4• April 22, 2021

Day 5• April 25, 2021

The Conversations with Parents I Hate to Have - Tools for Navigating Difficult Interactions and Conferences

If there was ever a time in the history of Montessori education where it was imperative to establish and maintain a positive partnership with parents – this is the time. More than ever we need parents who can help us understand the needs and tendencies of the students we serve. More than ever we need parents to understand how Montessori pedagogy can be applied appropriately at home. More than ever we need active parent support in helping us keep our school communities safe, stable, and sustainable.


Cultivating trust, transparency, and loyalty among parents requires Montessori guides and school leaders to create a “Relational Prepared Environment” with our families. There are specific strategies and steps, tools and techniques, for achieving this. We invite you to join Jonathan Wolff, international Montessori consultant, leadership coach, and author for a three session webinar series on parent relations, communications, conferencing, and conflict resolution. 

Jonathan Wolff

Jonathan Wolff is a Montessori school consultant, leadership coach, teacher educator, and author, who brings to his work 40 years of experience in Montessori education as a classroom teacher and school administrator.


He is the author of numerous educational publications, I including, The Self-Awakened Child – Character Education Program.


Jonathan holds a Bachelor of Science in Secondary English Education from Temple University and a certification as a Primary guide from the Association Montessori Internationale. He studied with Mother Isabelle Eugenie, an early student of Maria Montessori 

The Basic Needs of the Newborn Person

The abrupt passage from the protected space inside mother into a world full of stimuli is
one of the greatest challenges for a sensorial learner and is, according to Maria
Montessori, the most difficult transition of ones entire life. When you were born, what
would you have wanted? Adopting the perspective of the newborn allows us to empathize
with these basic needs and enter into a harmonious relationship. This workshop will take
you through the 15 points on the Newborn written by Adele Costa Gnocchi, one of
Montessori's first students in 1909 who studied the newborn under her name from 1947 to

Karin Slabaugh

After 20 years working with children from birth to three, Karin dedicated herself to the
Montessori approach for the newborn. She moved to Italy to gain direct experience with
newborns and learn to observe them, working with first generation Montessorians who
studied under Adele Costa Gnocchi in the 1950's and 1960's. Karin and an international
group of newborn and early childhood advocates are developing a non-profit organization
called Montessori For Life and a Montessori retreat center in Italy, dedicated to offering
perspective changing courses about the first minutes, hours, days, months and years of

Mindful Guidance in Sibling Rivalry

Siblings influence each other in developing personality and gaining life and social skills learning from each other. While it is important to have siblings who are a good role model, parents must understand that the children’s behavior depends much on the way parents react to the children.

This presentation will provide the influence of birth order to develop personality, the key factors of fightings, the tips to remember for resolving sibling rivalry, and parenting style. You will gain the knowledge of the influential fact on how each sibling becomes who they are, the tips for the mindful guidance to create a calmer home environment, and an awareness of the parenting style that is both firm and respectful.

Kiran Paek

Kiran Paek has been in Montessori field over 30 years ago. After receiving her credentials in the early childhood level, she began her career as an assistant teacher and became a master teacher at Princeton Montessori School in Princeton, NJ. After over a decade of teaching at Princeton Montessori, she founded and became the director of Lawrence Montessori School in 2008. Upon finding an opportunity for a directorship at an AMS training center, she moved to Beijing in 2015. Subsequently, she moved to Shanghai to take a director position at a satellite AMS training center. Currently she is the founder and director of a MACTE accredited and AMS affiliated training center, Advanced Study Center for Montessori Community, for which she has developed a hybrid learning programs for early childhood and infant/toddler programs, in Wuxi, China. Since 2007, she has served as a site verifier for Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE) and American Montessori Society (AMS).

She holds Early Childhood AMS credential, Master of Early Childhood from Chaminade University of Honolulu in Hawaii, Master of Fine Art from Tisch School of Art in New York University. She loves to take a walk and sing in a choir. Her four children and two granddaughters have been her inspiration to be a part of Montessori Community. She hopes that the ripples of this small movement influence the lives of children, parents and educators in the global community.

Montessori Inspired Prepared Environment for Home Learning

My topic of presentation is Montessori inspired prepared environment for home  learning as both lower and upper elementary and primary aged children, which  includes how to arrange and present materials. 

I will be sharing how to arrange materials, and how to present them, and basic  principles needed in order to create a prepared environment at home for home  learning, tips for home learning and so on. 

Actionable learning that can be applied at home. 

  •  how to arrange materials in tray 
  •  how to arrange materials in order following Montessori learning topic
  •  how to present materials on a mat 


This presentation will guide you how to arrange and present materials in Montessori  inspired home learning, and how to encourage children for independent home  learning.

Devi Sekaran

I am stay at home mum from Malaysia. I have a bachelor´s degree from University Malaysia Sabah and Cambridge International Diploma for Teachers and Trainers from Methodist College Kuala Lumpur. I was a private secondary school teacher (in Malaysia) for 2 years,  teaching Physics and Additional Mathematics for upper secondary. 

My kids are aged 8, 6 and 4 years old. My 8 and 6 years old currently attending an  International School while my youngest is attending a Montessori 3-6 preschool. I am not trained in any Montessori program and I am not homeschooling my kids. I discovered Montessori learning principles and learning activities in 2017, and since then I taught myself how to prepare and present materials and try to create Montessori inspired materials and activities at home, since Montessori learning materials can be expensive.  

Creating Montessori inspired materials is quite fun and together with my kids, I am learning  new things too. All the activities that we do at home takes place in the evening (1-hour learning cycle).

See printables that I have created
My work on my social media: Instagram, Facebook

Role Modeling During Early Childhood: The Adult in The Prepared Environment

We are role modeling during challenging times. Whether you are a parent, a teacher, or a homeschool mom, you may have noticed that our whole paradigm is shifting and so is our vision for the future. The old authoritarian model doesn't work any more; instead our children deserve a foundation as valuable as the one Maria Montessori envisioned which is based on a peace model. Children not only need the physical environment that supports their potential expansion but also the healthy and nurturing emotional environment provided by the adults. 

We are a powerful influence on our children, so...

Where do we start? 

How do we prepare ourselves? 

I would like to share tools to:  

  • understand and use emotional intelligence
  • stay calm during tough times
  • communicate compassionately and effectively
  • Identify and nourish the child's innate gifts

If we want to "be the change we want to see in the world" (Mahatma Gandhi), we need to work on ourselves first. 


Lorena Tasker

Lorena Tasker has served in the education field for over twenty years. She has been the Assistant Director at Miami Shores Montessori School in Miami, Florida for the past five years and has seventeen years of teaching experience. She began her career as a lower elementary teacher in Argentina and continued as an Early Childhood AMS certified lead teacher in Miami, Florida. She holds an Associate Degree in Elementary Education and a Bachelor of Science in Administration. Lorena is currently an adult educator and instructor at International Center for Montessori Studies. In recent years, she has become deeply immersed in the practice of Kundalini yoga and obtained an instructor certification, sharing ancient teachings to help others find their true essence and purpose. Passionate about children and holistic education, Lorena genuinely believes in self-development as a path for mental and spiritual growth that leads to serving others.

A practical "How-to" guide for mastering the art of Montessori communication – Tackling praise, sharing & big emotions!

Ever catch yourself saying ‘No, Don’t, Stop, how many times have I told you!’ and never really being able to engage cooperation? Or saying ‘Share, it's nice…’ and the child responds saying ‘But I had it first!’ Or have you ever felt like your praise is on a repetition of ‘Good girl, good boy, good job, great work etc’ almost becoming unauthentic, evaluative and not really effective?

This practical session will:

  • Minimize the stress, frustrations and pressures you may feel when dealing with BIG emotions, engaging cooperation and sharing.
  • Allow you to become more aware of the way you communicate and respond to the needs of the child.
  • Equip you with effective communication that will allow you to step out of the habitual language we tend to fall back into.
  • Improve your skill set to deal more confidently with everyday situations and more challenging moments.
  • Provide you rich and meaningful praise alternatives to build children’s self-belief, self-confidence and intrinsic motivation so they feel empowered and encouraged!  

Effective communication can change the outcomes for children by equipping them with the skills and tools to be the best they can be. It also allows us to build our skill set, creating a more cohesive classroom and harmonious home. Join me to master the art of Montessori communication today! 

Sylvia Arotin

Sylvia Arotin has had over 10 years experience in Montessori teaching and is the founder and director of My Montessori (0-6 yrs) school in Sydney, Australia. Her passion for children’s learning and development, as well as supporting and educating adults, has been fundamental in developing her well-established Guide & Grow brand. Guide & Grow is the largest online Montessori support platform for parents/educators in the world with over 150,000 members in the village. Guide & Grow helps parents and educators to build their skill set through NESA accredited workshops, online resources & training seminars; specializing in the art of Montessori communication, guiding behaviour & building children’s skill set. Her wealth of knowledge and drive has helped paved her way to success throughout the years. She holds an International Montessori 0-3yrs training, 3-6 AMI Assistants training, an International Communications degree and a Masters in Teaching specializing in early childhood (0-5 yrs) (Honours) from Macquarie University. Sylvia is truly an inspirational motivator to all those who cross her path, be it educators, parents or the wider community and she looks forward to continuing her global mission of spreading authentic Montessori in the years to come. You can contact Sylvia through

Montessori is for everyone: raise independent and curious kids

Have you ever scrolled through beautiful Montessori inspired spaces online and thought: “This is amazing... but how do I even start?”

This session will help you understand what Montessori is really about: shifting our perspective on childhood. You will also gain easy and practical tips you can apply at home right away. Learn all about:

  • 3 big myths surrounding the Montessori method
  • The 4 main concepts you need to know to start applying Montessori at home now
  • How to foster independence and curiosity by preparing your home environment with what you already have
  • How to create meaningful learning opportunities for your child no matter the budget
  • Make Montessori work for you too: how the Montessori method can be adapted to your unique family needs

Are you a parent wanting to promote independence, creativity, and exploration at home? If so, this session is for you!


Nathalie Alvarado

Nathalie is a Montessori mom and Upper Elementary co-guide at Villa Montessori School, based in Punta Cana. She helps parents create opportunities for exploration, creativity, and independence at home through meaningful activities and tips inspired in the Montessori method.
As a former architect, as well as a Montessori child herself, she believes in the power of self-directed activity and hands-on learning.
She offers personalized consulting and workshops for parents who want to implement Montessori and respectful parenting practices. Connect with her through her Instagram page.

7 Step Framework To Teaching Visual Art to 3-6 The Right Way!

Are you ready to finally bring art programming into your home or classroom!?

I have more than three decades of experience within the art world and I've been working specifically with Montessori teachers for over 10 years! I know exactly what it takes to start introducing Montessori kid-loved art lessons and projects into your classroom.  

In this 1 hr training I'm going to share just how to do so!

You'll learn :

  • Subjects you should be teaching
  • How to integrate art into your Great Lessons
  • How to engage your students in art lessons
  • Best art supplies 3-6 should start with
  • Staging Shelf Tips

Spramani Elaun

Spramani Elaun trains teachers and parents Internationally how to teach kids visual arts. 

Spramani is a homeschool mom of two, author of seven art education books, artist and the founder of Nature of Art® Art School & Online Art Supply company based out of San Diego, California. Visit Nature of Art® @

Phonemic Awareness Activities to Prepare Children for the Sandpaper Letters and the Moveable Alphabet

Children who struggle to remember the sandpaper letters or use
the moveable alphabet likely need to develop more phonemic awareness.
This workshop will walk you through specific activities to help children 1)
isolate speech sounds in spoken words so they understand that the
sandpaper letters are symbols that represent speech sounds and 2) stretch
out spoken words to see how words are made up of speech sounds in a
row. Try these easy phonemic awareness activities and you’ll make it
easier for children to learn letter sounds and then use that phonics
knowledge to build words with the moveable alphabet.

Lisa Adele

Lisa is AMI-certified at the Primary level. After graduating from the
Foundation for Montessori Education in Toronto, she guided 3-6 year old
children at an accredited Montessori school in Canada for several years.
Now Lisa supports homeschooling parents inside her Playful Path to
ReadingTM phonics program. Visit to learn more and
register for her free class. You’ll learn the 4-step method to make it fun and
easy for your child to learn to read at home using Montessori activities!

Montessori: Beyond Materials

We are usually overwhelmed by beautiful photos of the Montessori environment that we see on social media. We can often feel that we can’t ever afford to do “Montessori” because of all the expensive wooden materials and furniture. Do we constantly feel bad because we don't do “Montessori” enough?  In this presentation, I would like to share our personal story of how we do Montessori in Cambodia, and our Montessori journey as a family. Montessori is not just about materials; it is so much more!

Max Bui

Max earned her B.A in English at Hanoi University, Vietnam and her IAPM Montessori 3-6 training and certification. She was the director of Montessori Training Center of Vietnam (MTCV). This role involved translating and publishing Montessori and parenting books into Vietnamese, designing and manufacturing Montessori materials, setting up new campuses in Vietnam and training Montessori teachers. She is also a certified Positive Discipline Parent Educator and Positive Discipline Classroom Educator from the Positive Discipline Association (CPDPE).

She is currently based in Cambodia with her family. She founded Forbie Montessori as a way to share and spread Montessori education to parents and teachers in Cambodia.

The How and Why of Montessori Parent-Infant Programs

The mother is the first prepared environment. Expectant and new parents are in a Sensitive Period for learning about their child, and healthy parenting. Montessorians have a desire to reach diverse families and have an impact on the lives of children. In just a few hours per week, we can make a difference for families. Following the Support Group model, parents meet once per week with their child and once more weekly for parent discussion, 90 minutes each session. Parents may join prenatally and receive support preparing for their baby. Once the baby is born, the family may attend as soon as they feel ready. Parent-Infant may serve prenatal to 18 months, or even age 2 or 3, but I prefer that toddlers have an opportunity for independence in a prepared environment.

Susan Tracy McDaniel

Susan Tracy McDaniel, M.Ed., Director of Learning Together Education, has made a practice of observing children for more than 30 years. As a consultant to many schools and social service agencies, Susan has applied Montessori educational methods in a variety of settings, including a Chicago homeless shelter, native American and migrant communities. Susan is a parenting coach and speaks frequently to groups of parents and educators. Since 1993, she has taught Montessori Philosophy and Child Development at Seton Montessori Institute. Susan has also taught numerous Montessori and Parenting courses in the US, Europe, and Asia. She is a former adjunct professor at Kendall College in Chicago. Susan has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Northwestern University and a Master’s Degree in Education from Loyola College in Baltimore. She has Montessori certificates from the American Montessori Society and the Association Montessori Internationale. She is also a certified practitioner of EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques), a therapeutic technique related to acupuncture. She insists that her real education has been through parenting five children and observing hundreds of others. She was a Montessori teacher for thirty years, working with children ages birth through six.

Susan speaks frequently, sharing anecdotes and observations with audiences large and small. She delights in the discoveries that children make every day and is driven by her resolve to help children by educating adults. Her goal is to make Montessori available in communities everywhere through Parent-Infant programs. She is currently supporting new programs in western Africa. Susan Tracy McDaniel may be contacted at Learning Together Education,, 

Mindfulness for the moment

Are you trying to deal with everyday stresses of being with the young child, especially during the pandemic? Join Teri for a discussion of Mindfulness and how being in the present moment with a positive attitude can make all the difference. Be ready to look inward so that you can respond outward with an upbeat spin. Also come away with some “mindful” activities that you can do with the little ones that might just make you a bit more mindful yourself!

Teri Canaday Freeman

Teri Canaday Freeman started her Montessori career in1973. She helped start the first AMS public Montessori school in Cincinnati, Ohio under the leadership of Nancy Rambusch in 1975.  Since that time, Teri has helped start several public Montessori schools and has taught in both small and large private Montessori schools.  She was Executive Director of the Montessori Early Childhood and Elementary School in Jackson, TN for 28 years, and Director of an AMS-affiliated teacher education program, MEINA that was conducted in Jackson. Teri had been a long-term member of AMS´s Executive Peace Committee and has worked on developing a peace curriculum outline for teachers.  Teri is currently working with IMC as a field consultant and on a task force to reflect on how to create Montessori teacher education programs that are anti-racist/anti-biased. She is passionate about helping others create a culture of peace within their schools and reflecting on how to create peace within ourselves.

Connecting Cosmic Education to Academic Skills

Claudia Mann, Montessori teacher, administrator, parent and coach for more than 35 years, will guide you in the important steps you can take now with your infant or young child to make sure she is ready for the big wondrous work of Cosmic Education in the Montessori elementary program. 

Claudia Mann

Since 1983, Claudia Mann has been enchanted with Montessori education. Certified Elementary I, II and Secondary I, Ms. Mann has guided children and adults in classrooms and schools to be passionate learners, sustaining Cosmic Education as the heart and soul of the Montessori vision. After more than 25 years in the classroom, Ms. Mann was part of the founding team at Chaffee County Montessori School in Salida, CO. After nearly 10 years with CCMS, she and her husband relocated to southern California where she became the Head of School for LePort Montessori Encinitas. Ms. Mann currently coaches teachers and school leaders both onsite and online through and

Potty Learning - Birth to Four Years

In this comprehensive talk, Sarah Moudry will share the optimal times to introduce potty learning to a child. Based on the natural development of the child, how we prepare the environment and when we introduce these self-care skills can impact the ease at which a child embraces potty learning. Sarah will cover tips, tricks, research, and facts that have proven to inspire potty learning mastery for thousands of children through her classes, her book Toilet Awareness, and her work in schools around the world. Learn how to use the Montessori method to offer a gentle and developmentally appropriate potty learning routine for any child from birth to four years.

Sarah Moudry

Sarah Moudry creates Montessori environments for children and families and offers consultation services for parents and educators of young children. She is the founder and owner of Studio June (@thestudiojune), a Montessori parent and child education studio and Family Friendly Home (@familyfriendlyhome),an educational environments design firm. She is the author of First F0ods to Family Meals, Toilet Awareness, In A Montessori Home, and What is the Montessori Toddler Community? The mother of three children, Sarah lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family where they bake together and enjoy family game nights.