Workshops – September 2019

Weekend of Professional Development

Saturday September 21st, 2019

Morning Sessions (9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon; Fee: $85)


Creating Trauma-Sensitive School-Wide Behavioral MTSS/RTI Approaches
Morgan Beidleman ~~ CANCELLED
Details

Half a million teachers in the United States leave their schools each year. Only 16% of these departures are due to retirement. Teachers cite support with student behavior as one of their main reasons for leaving or considering leaving their school (Boyd, Grossman, Ing, Lankford, Loeb, & Wyckoff, 2011).

This session will explore the unique needs of students who have experienced trauma and look at how this affects their learning and behavior. This lens will then be used to explore how a trauma-sensitive comprehensive behavioral MTSS/RTI systems-approach can better support all students, increase achievement, and create a more sustainable and supportive environment for staff. After learning the components of a strong, trauma-sensitive behavioral system, you will learn to tailor these components to meet the individual needs of schools within your district. Leave equipped with next steps and resources to plan and support implementation across your schools.

Morgan Beidleman, M.Ed., M.A. has worked in public education for the past 13 years. A former teacher, coach, and administrator, Morgan now runs a private practice helping school teams create connected, productive communities by establishing strong systems of support. When not consulting with schools, she works 1:1 with children experiencing disabilities by providing direct intervention, family coaching, and advocacy assistance. Morgan is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Denver with a research focus on expansive student support services.

The Four Planes of Development: What You Need to Know
Donohue Shortridge

Details

Most Montessorians heard the four-planes lecture in their training, but how long ago was that? What’s new in brain development? What cultural exigencies impact our understanding of the natural, ongoing development of the child? We’ll revisit the four-planes lecture to deepen our understanding of the child at each plane . . . and perhaps deepen our understanding of ourselves as well.

Donohue Shortridge, a Littleton Colorado-based Montessori consultant, conducts staff development workshops and parent talks around the US and Canada. Donohue holds AMS credentials from MECR at both the infant/toddler and early childhood levels. She is published in Montessori journals and is a frequent presenter at Montessori conferences.

The Prepared Adult: Transformational Tools for Teachers
Dr. Sara Knickerbocker
Details

Dr. Montessori stated, “The real preparation for education is the study of one’s self,” and yet the demands of being a Montessori teacher can leave little time for reflection, self-care and the study of one’s self that can result in personal and professional transformation. Teachers and administrators alike are interested in preventing burnout and optimizing a school’s most valuable resource–the teachers–and yet it is not always clear how to prevent burnout. During this session, participants will use experiential tools to re-energize and respond to the professional mandate to engage in self-study. Participants will learn how to eliminate limiting beliefs from the past, harness the power of the present, and develop goals and intentions to bring forward into the future as a vibrant Montessori teacher or administrator. Specific skills to be covered include 1) Knowing and experiencing emotions and triggers, 2) Increasing self-awareness to minimize stress 3) Developing a pro-active plan for support and self-care, 4) Communicating during difficult conversations 5) Using appreciation to shift inner distress and relationship tension. Rekindle your passion for the profession as you launch a new school year. Aim to begin, maintain, and complete the year with stamina and compassion with the playful support and tools covered in this session.

Dr. Sara Knickerbocker launched The Core Initiative to address the needs of those at the heart of our schools—the educators! As a school psychologist and learning specialist, she is dedicated to transforming school cultures by attending to the mental health and social-emotional well-being of educators while supporting teachers’ professional development as they strive to meet the needs of diverse learners. Dr. Knickerbocker has developed her skills and experience in a variety of settings including public and private schools, educational non-profits, and private practice. She has navigated multiple perspectives within a school setting–teacher, parent, and administrator. In addition to her expertise in the areas of child development, mindfulness, school culture, differentiation, learning disabilities, and systemic change, Dr. Knickerbocker is a lifelong student of transformative tools designed to support the creation of an expansive and joyful life.

Afternoon Sessions (1:00 p.m. to 3 p.m.; Fee: $65)


Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way: Guiding the Strong-Willed Child
Betsy Hoke – FULL –
Details

Are you struggling with those children who always want their way or take joy in saying “NO”? Can you see how these characteristics can serve them well as an adult if they are not crushed in the meantime? The development of the will is an important element of Montessori’s view of the child. But today, the strong-willed child has a bad reputation. Gain deeper insight into the minds and actions of these children and learn to find the humor in their struggles to be in control. Understand why you must lessen your need to control them. Let’s examine through information, skits, examples, discussions, and laughter how to help these children reveal their potential. There is a way for us to guide these children to bring out the best in them, and there is a way for them to use their will to thrive.

Betsy has served as Montessori teacher, administrator, and instructor at MECR in the areas of philosophy, classroom leadership, and language during her long career in Montessori. She currently is a Montessori consultant working with schools, individual teachers, and parents in Colorado and beyond. Betsy is an advocate for children in all that she does, stressing how to meet their needs. She is passionate about Montessori and the importance of assistants in the Montessori prepared environment. She has a strong-willed son who was lucky enough to attend a Montessori school for eleven years and has taught a number of children who thrived because of their strong will.

Toileting: Care of Self for Toddlers
Rachel Regan

Details

Toileting: Care of Self for Toddlers will cover the what, when, how, and why of toileting! Unsure of when to start toileting? Confused over how to handle stressful situations and power struggles? Uneasy about what language to use around toileting? Look no further! In this workshop, we will be touching on the best setup for the home and the classroom, how to prepare parents, what language to use around toileting, how to deal with accidents and power struggles, how to maintain consistency and more. We know that care of self is so important for toddlers, and toileting is a huge component of it but can seem like a stressful hurdle. It doesn’t have to be! It’s a natural process that we all go through, and as Montessori Guides, we can gather the tools and confidence to guide our children and their families through this process. We will cover steps and practices to put into place in your own classrooms or homes, how to work with families, and we will take time to troubleshoot some scenarios you might be experiencing in your classrooms. Get ready to talk toileting!

Rachel Regan is an AMS certified Infant/Toddler Guide, with experience in a toddler classroom. Rachel received her AMS certification from MECR after moving to beautiful Colorado from Savannah, GA, just three and a half years ago. Since starting in a Montessori toddler classroom, Rachel has been immersed in toilet learning, noticing its importance during the toddler years and discovering the most effective tools needed to create a stress-free, consistent toileting environment. When Rachel is not reading about, talking about, or working with children on toileting, you can find her nose in a book, cooking with friends, or bouldering with her partner!

Building an Equitable Holiday Approach
Tammy Oesting ~~ CANCELLED
Details

While most Montessori guides and administrators strive for inclusion and cultural responsiveness, without a clear path for recognizing those days most important to families, they can fall prey to a variety of missteps and missed opportunities. Utilizing eight sound principles for best holiday practices, this workshop addresses how to avoid stereotyping cultures, misappropriating cultural artifacts and activities, and how to create meaningful activities that amplify a student’s identity.

Using a hands-on tool to examine classrooms and schools’ responsiveness to cultures reflected both in their community and beyond, this workshop inspires attendees and delivers the tools necessary to promote fair representation and inclusion through a deliberate holiday approach.

Tammy Oesting has spent the last 25 years delivering professional development workshops, consulting schools, and educating new Montessori teachers. Her passions include issues of social justice, educating support staff, art education, neuroscience as applied to educational practices, and exploring the magnificence of the world. She is location independent and serves Montessori globally through her company ClassrooMechanics.

AMS certified 3-6, 6-12

All Day Session (9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m and 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.; Fee: $135)


The Beauty of the Practical Life Material and Grace & Courtesy AND The Art of Art and Baking
Michele Aspinall – FULL –
Details

The area of practical life lays the foundation for work in all areas of the primary classroom. Work in the practical life area helps the child establish a healthy relationship with the surrounding people and environment, one in which the child sees herself as affecting change rather than being affected by it. But how to get the children interested? This is not always so easy. Presenter Michele Aspinall has a unique gift for assembling irresistible and beautiful practical life exercises. During this session, she will share her secrets on how to bring this work back to life in your own environments. Another aspect to be considered is making Practical Life relevant. Michele has created an environment with exercises that meet the real needs of the classroom today. The standards remain, but Michele has carefully considered many other tasks that need to be accomplished in the Montessori classroom and assembled materials to meet those needs. Finally, Michele has also worked on Grace and Courtesy lessons that address some of the social difficulties many children are currently exhibiting.

Explore how to guide primary children to work thoughtfully and with intention to either learn how to use different art media or to artistically express what they have learned in all subject areas. Lessons will be given with the following materials:

Crayons

Tempera Paints

Water Colors

Charcoal

Pastels

Stitching

Embroidery

Collage

As families reap the many benefits of technology and automation, the child is required to do less and less to contribute to the life of the family. As a result, many children have a difficult time becoming attached to practical life work. But baking remains the last irresistible harbor for meaningful work. Michele has made an art form of baking. Learn how to help your children bake with complete independence. Consider different baking exercises like baking snack for the class, baking for a friend, and baking for guests. Complete recipe books with simple recipes will be available for purchase.

Join master teacher, Michele Aspinall, as she shares twenty years of experience heading an All Year Program in which art and baking have been central to the success of the classroom. Michele is a pioneer in the creation of one of the first authentic All Year Montessori models in the US. She began her work on this project twenty years ago. Since that time, she has nurtured and tailored this program into a truly magnificent experience for children who spend much of their lives at school. Over the last several summers Michele presented workshops on her program to hundreds of attendees coming from over 16 states and as far as Mexico, Chile, and Nigeria. Michele loves to spend her spare time in the kitchen. Cakes, cookies, pies; you name it, and she bakes it!

Sunday, September 22th, 2019

Morning Sessions (9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon; Fee: $85)


Breadcrumbs – An Innovative, Heart-Centered Approach to Social-Emotional Learning
Melinda Cropsey ~~ CANCELLED

Details

Breadcrumbs social-emotional learning is rooted in Maria Montessori’s belief in the “innate goodness” of the child. Breadcrumbs views all key SEL concepts as “qualities of heart” and teaches young children to see their hearts as an alternative source of wisdom within their bodies. This heart-knowing, when coupled harmoniously with the brain and the body is a source of calm, creativity and intuition. The themes address in this workshop are: Self-compassion; Mindful awareness of the senses; Emotional self-awareness and self-regulation; and Kindness/Interconnectedness. By exploring these four fundamental SEL themes through the lens of the heart, we are able to help children develop tools to support their social emotional growth. The themes build upon and reinforce one another, weaving a coherent fabric as the lessons progress. Using stories, discussion, songs, and playful activities, educators will learn to guide children to their own unique and wonderful “innate goodness” and elicit powerful social emotional insights. Particular attention will be paid to story selection and guided discussions. At the conclusion of the workshop, participants will work cooperatively to develop an SEL lesson of their own around one of the day’s themes.

Melinda Cropsey is the Founder of Breadcrumbs, LLC and the author of both the Breadcrumbs Curriculum and Breadcrumbs Basics, two Montessori-inspired, social-emotional curricula designed for children between the ages of 3-7. Melinda is the author of two children’s books: A Quiet, Happy Place; A Children’s Introduction to the Labyrinth (2017) and Penelope’s Superpower (2018). She is a certified Labyrinth Facilitator and a member of the New England Labyrinth Guild. Melinda is a Curriculum Consultant and Educator. She conducts workshops for schools, libraries, and museums nationwide.

Putting More Practical in the Lessons of Practical Life
Donohue Shortridge

Details

When Dr. Montessori conceived practical life, she meant just that; draw children into exercises that are meaningful and useful in their life, while at the same time developing OCCI. We will review Dr. Montessori’s thinking on the subject, and then relate that to the reality of children in the modern culture. Examples and suggestions, as well as questions and discussion, will be included.

Donohue Shortridge, a Littleton Colorado-based Montessori consultant, conducts staff development workshops and parent talks around the US and Canada. Donohue holds AMS credentials from MECR at both the infant/toddler and early childhood levels. She is published in Montessori journals and is a frequent presenter at Montessori conferences.

Tools to Amplify Learning: Research-Based Strategies for the Montessori Guide
Tammy Oesting
Details

This seminar delves into how to implement 8 essential research-based strategies that catapult learning in Montessori environments. Montessori guides are scientists in the field and as such, are well-poised to use these strategies to better their practices. Equipping educators with knowledge of these strategies deepens their understanding of the neuroscience behind what they do and promises to enhance outcomes for the whole child and optimize classroom performance.

Tammy Oesting has spent the last 25 years delivering professional development workshops, consulting schools, and educating new Montessori teachers. Her passions include issues of social justice, educating support staff, art education, neuroscience as applied to educational practices, and exploring the magnificence of the world. She is location independent and serves Montessori globally through her company ClassrooMechanics.

AMS certified 3-6, 6-12

Decoding Behavior as Communication
Maria Arias
Details

We’ve all heard that behavior is communication. In fact, all behavior is communication. Even between us as adults. But the message is not always clear! This can lead to greater misunderstanding and repetitive behaviors in classrooms that are unsafe and impede learning. In this workshop, you will gain insight into the deeper emotional and developmental needs being expressed through even the most perplexing behaviors. Emotional development can be tracked and is based on a hierarchy of psychological needs. When a need is unmet, even the cleverest behavioral interventions may not work. Take a deep dive into motivations behind behavior and walk away with concrete tools to address those needs in your classroom.

Maria Arias is a licensed mental health professional specializing in Synergetic Play Therapy and a recent transplant from Boulder to Portland, OR. Maria started her career as a Montessori teacher with a MECR certification. Maria has also worked in large urban school districts as a teacher and a school counselor.

Afternoon Sessions (1:00 p.m. to 3 p.m.; Fee: $65)


Adult Social Emotional Intelligence in Practice
Donohue Shortridge

Details

What is social emotional intelligence, and why does it matter to the Montessori practitioner? Consider this reflective session an opportunity for personal reflection and professional growth. We’ll start with a review of the research and then take a personal survey to facilitate understanding in practical terms. We’ll consider how adult social/emotional intelligence manifests in relationships with not only the children but also the parents and colleagues.

Donohue Shortridge, a Littleton Colorado-based Montessori consultant, conducts staff development workshops and parent talks around the US and Canada. Donohue holds AMS credentials from MECR at both the infant/toddler and early childhood levels. She is published in Montessori journals and is a frequent presenter at Montessori conferences.

Nature’s Adaptations: Updated Lessons in Life Science
Tammy Oesting ~~ CANCELLED

Details

Moving beyond puzzles and three-part cards, this workshop promises to inspire Montessori guides to update their life science lessons by bringing a greater understanding of nature’s adaptations into their classrooms. Based on a partnership with Dr. Priscilla Spears of Big Picture Science, presenter Tammy Oesting makes current research accessible and understandable for teachers of 3-12 year old children. This workshop will cover an overview of an updated approach, alignment with current science, optimal patterns of lessons, and specific lessons on adaptations. We’ll even dig into an overview of evolutionary mechanisms including variation, inheritance, selection, and time, and discuss structural and behavioral ancestral and derived traits.

Tammy Oesting has spent the last 25 years delivering professional development workshops, consulting schools, and educating new Montessori teachers. Her passions include issues of social justice, educating support staff, art education, neuroscience as applied to educational practices, and exploring the magnificence of the world. She is location independent and serves Montessori globally through her company ClassrooMechanics.

AMS certified 3-6, 6-12

Trauma Informed Discipline in Montessori Spaces
Colleen Wilkinson

Details

According to research, more than 60% of children in the US experience Adverse Childhood Experiences. As educators who strive to respect the whole child, it is vital that Montessori teachers understand the goals and implementation of trauma informed discipline practices. This workshop will introduce the attendee to the ways the trauma informed discipline aligns with Montessori philosophy and the way these methods can be effectively introduced into your classrooms. Resources to further your knowledge and hone your discipline practices will be provided.

Colleen Wilkinson is a consultant and teacher educator providing workshops and presentations on disciplinary practices centered in Trauma Informed principles, Montessori philosophy and classroom practices for public and private schools, Montessori training centers and independent groups. She had been a Montessori school Director, Teacher, and Administrator.

Who’s in Charge Here? How to Root and Grow Your Alpha Presence to Lead Students with Care and Confidence
Maria Arias
Details

Do you ever find yourself wondering, “Hey, who’s in charge here?” In my experience as a Montessori guide, a public school teacher, and a mental health professional, I have often faced this dilemma. So, how do we remain in the role of leader and allow children the freedom to learn and grow?

In this talk, learn to recognize ways we might unknowingly give up our leadership role to the children in our care. And, see how disruptive and demanding behaviors may stem from a role reversal. Learn about the psychology of power roles in your Montessori classroom and how to step into your role with care and confidence.

Maria Arias is a licensed mental health professional specializing in Synergetic Play Therapy and a recent transplant from Boulder to Portland, OR. Maria started her career as a Montessori teacher with a MECR certification. Maria has also worked in large urban school districts as a teacher and a school counselor.

NOTE: All sessions contain information on Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) and this will be noted on your certificate of attendance.

Montessori Education Center of the Rockies
4745 Walnut St, Boulder, CO 80301
303-494-3002

From Denver to Boulder on Rte 36 or Hwy 93: Exit & Go East on Baseline. Turn left and go North on 30th Street. Turn right and go East on Walnut St. Go under the bridge and MECR is the 3rd building on the left side (north).

  • No walk-in registration
  • 10% discount for 2 or more teachers from the same school (on one check or card)
  • Limited space availability
  • Participants receive Certificates of Attendance for up to 10 hours of professional development