Montessori Congress

The Montessori Congress was so great — I learned so many things and I feel so lucky that I was able to go!

We toured area Montessori schools.

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[parent’s resource library]

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[some of the cutest little guides!]

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[one of the students told me that when visitors come, the children are in charge of making them tea. awesome.]

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[3rd grade work]

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[the most bomb reading loft ever]

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Matt and Megan took in the garden. Duh.

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Okay. Are you guys ready for this outdoor space at this school? You say yes, but I’m not sure you are. Keep in mind that the children get to use this space every day. They learn in this space, observe their surroundings here, play….it’s all for them.

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[it smells so good out there]

More classrooms.

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[congress attendees wrote where they are from]

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Back at the Congress, Rusty Keeler was there to help people understand, play with, experience, and create their own outdoor playscapes. It. Was. Awesome.

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Each day there were 2 keynote speakers and 2 sessions of smaller talks (you could decide which you wanted to go to). I went to Michael Gurian who spoke on “Nurturing the Nature of Boys and Girls.” It was so interesting. We learned how and why boys’ brains work differently than those of girls. He gave really great advice and tips to teachers on how they can retain boys who are more boy boy. Who are more spacial and mechanical than thoughtful and emotional. I think I needed to hear that boys (generally speaking) do tend to move around more and it’s really in their brains to behave that way. They throw things and crash things and do more things…and that’s okay. And there’s a way to work with that without trying to change them.

I also went to “The Child’s Innate Love of Nature” given by Maria Teresa Vidales. I learned that it’s important to let children experience nature and that it really does teach us so many things: it reminds us that we have to be reverent. It teaches us to wait and be patient…”if we choose to wait, the miracle will happen.” It teaches us that we are not alone in this world and things aren’t just black and white — grays also give us sensation.

Rukmini Ramachandran was a keynote speaker and I loved listening to her. “A child raised in harmony and love with nature will be a steward of the world.” That’s nice.

Paul Hawken spoke of the environment and our impact on it. He said a few things that stood out to me: (1) What we pay attention to becomes who we are. (2) Wild is not bad. It’s original, innate, passionate, authentic and creative. (3) The consequence of small things is extraordinary. He was awesome.

We ate delicious lunches.

I hung out with wonderful peeps.

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I purchased some awesome books and cool materials.

I also hit up the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.

Boom.

Check these out:

Montessori Institute for the Science of Peace

Gurian Institute

Montessori Madmen

Paul Hawken

Judith Snow

Building the Pink Tower

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