Monday, May 23, 2011

Workshops, ‘Babies’ and more. But first …

Dear Supporters of the Maria Montessori Education Foundation, we’ve got another event-packed newsletter for you this month…..

“The child will show us the way…”Clarisse with Geo Cabinet

At Birkenhead Point Montessori School last weekend, we enjoyed our very first MMEF/AMI Alumni gathering! 

Thirteen enthusiastic Montessorians gave up their normally leisurely Sunday morning to discuss the unique characteristics of the The Absorbent Mind no less! Summing up the morning, Cathy Woodhouse, our MMEF Alumni Co-ordinator, said:

It was great to merge the energy and enthusiasm of newly qualified students with the passion and wisdom of experienced Montessorians. To see so many minds engaged, enthusiastically discussing the child’s acquisition of movement, language and culture during their first six years was so beneficial for us all.”

Carol Potts opened the discussion with a reminder to refresh ourselves with the Montessori principles as a guide to our actions.  And then Molly O’Shaughnessy was quoted to set the tone for the prevailing gatherings….Molly, who at the recent refresher entitled Theory to Practice spoke of two Montessori principles –

a passion for truth  where Montessori believed that one of the greatest truths or principles she discovered was that ‘we’ are not in charge – nature is – and all of our work with children must follow from this basic principle.
“The second principle she discovered was that it is the child that will show us the way; if we do not follow the child we do not encounter the truth

A lofty beginning indeed, followed up by a brief overview of the much under-utilised Geometric Cabinet.

A stimulating morning indeed—and the first of many more to come.

If you hold an AMI diploma and would like to join us for the next meeting, contact Cathy Woodhouse on

* * July Workshop Reminder:

‘Montessori Orientation – Follow the Child’

  • Wellington – Wednesday 20th July – Friday 22nd July
  • Auckland – Saturday 16th July – Monday 18th July

Enjoy an end-of-term break in the glorious wine region of Matakana! Or check out New Zealand’s largest Montessori school! All while exploring Montessori’s key principles.  That’s what these two workshops, which you can attend in either Auckland or Wellington, give you the chance to do.

(And the start time of the Auckland 3-day workshop allows you to visit the famous Matakana Farmer’s Market en route.)

The workshops are open to classroom assistants, ECE teachers, parents, school administrators and owners. They’re an ideal workshop for:

* those working as an assistant in a Montessori environment

* anyone considering Montessori teacher training in the future

* parents to deepen their understanding of Montessori in the home

Cheryl colourDuring the first six years of life, each child creates their individual personality. They acquire language, co-ordinate their movements and take in the cultural traits of those around them.
The experiences of the child from birth to six will shape the unique adult he/she will become. What guidance can be gleaned from Montessori to support the child’s natural development? Is the physical environment key? What is the adult’s role? How do we elicit each child’s inner potential?

These ideas and more will be the springboard for a lively 3 day workshop with our Director of Training - Cheryl Ferreira.

* * Babies

And as a little light entertainment - this brilliant movie currently doing the rounds is a must see!!

The masterful filming follows four babies from Namibia, Japan, San Francisco & Mongolia. Without narration, the camera begins rolling as the babies take their first breath and concludes as each one begins to walk…. As the film finished at my nearby cinema, a communal sigh could be heard!

It is priceless!

And finally….

It’s time to start thinking about the 2012 3-6 diploma course, starting in January!

Visit the MMEF website for the next AMI 3-6 diploma course dates and download your application form today—or send the link to someone who might benefit.

MMEF is accepting enrolments now with interviews being arranged for July! And, of course, please approach us if you have any questions about having your school sponsor a student who might become the next (or the first!) AMI director/directress in your environment.

Please email with your comments, thoughts and suggestions.

Ka Kite,
Carol, Tia, Anna, Shirley, Lynne