Earlier this spring, I was in Portland for a Montessori conference, and was able to spend time at Montessori Northwest. It is always a treat to come to Portland, because of the city itself, but especially because of the vibrant Montessori community surrounding the training center. This June I will be returning to Portland to lead an AMI Assistants Course at MNW. For those not as familiar with this course, I thought I’d take a moment to give you a clearer vision of what to expect.
During the AMI Assistants Course, participants are introduced to Montessori principles and how those principles are reflected in the practice with the children. We spend time practicing art techniques that we can use with children; learning songs and finger plays to introduce to the children; exploring children’s literature; and making materials for the children to enjoy.
Making materials is one of my favorite elements of the course because we allow time for the students to make some card materials by hand. We provide everything needed to make these cards and adequate class time to complete them. These cards aid the children in their vocabulary development, and they use them later for reading practice. Each set of cards focuses on a topic that is interesting to young children such as vehicles, buildings, or tools. I really enjoy seeing the adults in the course come to appreciate the value of these unique cards as well as experience a sense of accomplishment as they progress in the process. The children will be aware that these special materials were made by hand, just for them!
I have found that the participants of this course are genuinely interested in child development and are searching for more meaningful educational principles to support the children in their development. Assistants, parents, administrators, and traditional educators all find value in the Montessori theory and practice, and are able to take away information and skills that will aid them in their homes, schools, and classrooms. I look forward to introducing this information to a new group of people in Portland, and hope you will consider joining us on this adventure.