Posts filed under Events

Building Montessori - MNW's Place in the Constellation

Just two years ago Montessori Northwest began actively working to make Montessori education accessible to more children and families. We have made significant progress by building on our strengths and developing our position within this incredible Montessori community. The scope of our work begins locally in the Pacific Northwest yet extends across the globe through the work of our graduates. As MNW continues to expand the accessibility and influence of Montessori education we have defined three major areas for our work:


Montessori Northwest is responding to an urgent call for AMI teacher training beyond Portland, Oregon. We are currently drafting feasibility studies for three satellite courses that will begin as early as 2015: Elementary in Spokane, Washington, as well as Assistants to Infancy and Primary in the Bay Area, California. These courses will cultivate trained teachers to work in public and private schools and will expand MNW’s programs across the entire western United States. 

Beyond the training, we support our alumni and community by providing workshops for all Montessori practitioners.  The need for these programs has been highlighted by recent record-breaking registration numbers in fall workshops, forums and guided discussions. We are also working to establish university partnerships that will lead toward a public teaching credential and will soon launch the application process for our newly established Learning to Leading fund – a financial aid fund for teachers working in public or tuition-free Montessori programs. These application materials will be available for courses beginning in 2015.


Organizational partnerships have blossomed alongside our program expansions. We are thrilled to continue working with the Family Relief Nursery after sponsoring their staff to participate in the AMI Assistants Course this past summer. We believe that Montessori principles can be adopted to improve educational practices in any environment and are happy to support the incredible work that the nursery does for Oregon families in crisis. 

Montessori Northwest is excited to be researching best practices for opening our own demonstration classroom for children here in the Portland area. Along with our 2013 Congress attendees, we were deeply inspired by the programs serving communities in need from around the world, from Afghanistan to Dallas. We have set out to open a classroom for children that will educate, inspire, and demonstrate what Montessori can do for children and communities that face significant challenges. 


In summer 2014 we held a Montessori Glass Classroom in downtown Portland after reviving this classic event at the 2013 International Montessori Congress. After documenting the process, our Glass Classroom Handbook has been used to replicate this program across the nation, placing Montessori repeatedly in the public’s view. MNW is thrilled to be a contributor to the Montessori in the Capital event scheduled for February 2015 in the Oregon State Capital Building. In addition to events like this, we are improving our communications strategies to gain visibility for Montessori education and its contributions to the education reform conversation.  

If you are interested in supporting this work, please consider making a donation to Montessori Northwest. Your contribution will directly support these ambitious endeavors to make Montessori education more accessible.  


Posted on October 23, 2014 and filed under Events.

What A Wonderful Weekend!

“Thank you for inspiring my work with children!”  - Workshop Participant

This past weekend, Montessori Northwest was host to 124 Montessorians for our first ever Weekend Workshops. Attendees included teachers, assistants, administrators, program coordinators, parents, and students. Every level of Montessori training was represented, along with a handful of participants who were not trained. While there were many local Montessorians at the workshops, one-third of the participants traveled from outside the Portland area, representing seven different states and four countries. All in all, it was an extremely diverse group.

The Primary workshop, Self-Discipline and Joyful Learning, was presented by MNW Director of Primary Training, Ginni Sackett. In this workshop, the seventy-nine participants explored Montessori’s theory of normalization in relation to the materials and activities found in a Montessori 3-6 classroom: how to first offer motives for concentrated activity leading to normalization and then turn this point of arrival into a point of departure through the materials for development in Sensorial, Language, and Mathematics. Observation, friendliness with error, and indirect preparation all gave further focus to this exploration across all of the areas and all of the ages in the Children’s House environment.

The Elementary workshop, Stories and Self-Construction, was presented by MNW Director of Elementary Training, Elise Huneke-Stone. In this workshop, the forty-five participants examined the Great Stories in terms of how they contribute to children’s intellectual and emotional well-being. They also explored practical ways to start and sustain the children’s journals and individual conferences, and to help the children develop these Tools of Responsibility in accordance with their growing independence and self-awareness. The workshop concluded with a focus on how to implement a developmentally appropriate class meeting that meets the children’s social needs and empowers them as citizens in the “practice society” of the Montessori elementary community.

Thank you to all those who were able to attend. We hope you enjoyed the workshops and your time at Montessori Northwest. We look forward to seeing you again!

Posted on October 17, 2014 and filed under Elementary, Primary, Events.

Come Celebrate with Us!

For nearly a decade, The Celebration of Light has been a time for Portland’s Montessori community to come together and support the work happening at Montessori Northwest. We’re profoundly grateful for all of the support we’ve received through the years which has helped us achieve many of our goals, including expanding our teacher training courses, cultivating new AMI teacher trainers, and initiating significant momentum around community networking and organizational partnerships.

At this year’s event, we look forward to sharing news about our satellite teacher training beyond Portland and our vision to open a demonstration Montessori classroom within an at-risk community here in our area. While there will still be a special appeal to the community, there will not be a silent or live auction, so the evening's focus can rest on celebrating this great work with friends, both old and new. 

Join us on Friday, January 30, 2015, from 5:30 - 9:30 pm, at the Melody Ballroom, for the 10th Annual Montessori Northwest Celebration of Light, as we raise a glass to the teachers, administrators, parents, and supporters who compose this incredible Montessori community! 

Ticket cost includes appetizers, full meal, open bar beer & wine, access to the photo booth, games, and activities. 

Become a Sponsor--Our highly visible sponsorship options allow you, your school, or your organization to sparkle at the event. Click here to learn more.

Individual Ticket: $75
Join the Party!
Posted on September 23, 2014 and filed under Events, Fun.

Don't Miss Our Primary Workshop

On the weekend of October 10-12, Ginni Sackett, MNW Director of Primary Training, will be presenting a workshop entitled: Self-Discipline and Joyful Learning: Normalization in the 21st Century Montessori Children's House at Montessori Northwest. We asked her a few questions about what participants can expect from the weekend:                                                                                                        

What excites you about the workshop?

I am most excited about the opportunity to work with a great group of dedicated Montessori practitioners in a focused, interactive, and engaging format; empowering each participant to take their work with children to new levels of success.   

Describe the workshop's format?

There will be various types of participant engagement, including: power point presentations, demonstrations, small group breakouts with specific tasks, full group de-briefing sessions, targeted readings, and exploring participant scenarios as the basis for the creative application of Montessori principles in challenging circumstances. 

What will participants gain from attending the workshop?

Participants will leave with practical, creative strategies based in Montessori principles to support positive, pro-social behaviors and intellectual achievement in young children, and increased understanding of how teachers use conditions in the environment to transform challenges into successes and guide children to achieve the developmental purposes of all the Montessori materials.

Register now! Space is filling up for this workshop. Early Bird rates available through Thursday, September 25. Registration deadline is Wednesday, October 8. Click here for all the details and to register.

Posted on September 17, 2014 and filed under Primary, Events, From MNW Staff.