Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Continuing Montessori Professional Development in the Summer Months

My idea of summertime is relaxing near a large body of water, preferably the ocean, with an iced tea and a book and highlighter in my hand. Highlighter? That’s right. In addition to catching up on the latest novels, I spend my summers continuing my Montessori education.

NAMC montessori professional development in summer months teacher and cat reading

The Benefits of Continuing Education

Just as many Montessori teachers send their students off with summer reading lists or activities to reinforce skills, so too should teachers themselves seek to improve and refine their Montessori-related skills.
Whether you complete a new level of Montessori training, read a book by or about Maria Montessori, or take a class that will benefit you and your students, continuing your education is a positive reflection on you and your desire to be a life-long learner.

Montessori Professional Development - Summer is the Perfect Time for Reinforcing Skills and Learning New Ones

Continuing education, also called professional or staff development, provides teachers new insight into the Montessori method and philosophy. Although I have been involved in Montessori education for many years now, I continue to be in awe every time I pick up one of Montessori’s books. I always learn something new!

The same is true when I attend a workshop or conference in person. I leave refreshed and invigorated, ready to try new ideas and approaches. Conferences bring Montessorians together to learn, grow, support, and celebrate all things Montessori.

Here are some other ideas for summertime continuing education:
  • Read Montessori blogs. (Start with NAMC’s blog and expand from there!)
  • Read books by or inspired by Maria Montessori. (A great place to start is Montessori Books to Inspire: Summer Reading Suggestions for the Montessori Teacher)
  • Attend a conference or workshop.
  • Participate in a community college course in working with children with special needs.
  • Learn sign language.
  • Learn to meditate.
  • Practice yoga.
  • Take a computer course.
  • Learn another language.
  • Learn or brush up on your musical skills.
  • Learn to sew, knit, weave, or do woodworking.
  • Keep a photo journal of your summer travels.

In his book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey suggests that successful, balanced people “Sharpen the Saw.” That is, they participate in activities that preserve, enhance, and provide a source of self-renewal. Renewal comes in four areas: physical; social/emotional; mental; and spiritual. Continuing education helps sharpen the saw, providing growth and stability, which help you become a focused, productive person. This vitality is important both personally and professionally.
As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community.
© North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Tuesday, June 25, 2013.


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