Program

First International Conference for Montessori School Owners and Directors and Administrators

Thursday

13:30-15:00 Conference Opening by Kathy Minardi, Sue Pritzker and Peter Davidson

It has been said that the job of a Montessori School Owner, Director or Administrator can be a lonely one. With whom can we confide and share? We each need to have a network and build relationships with our peers so that we have someone to call upon when we need advice or someone to simply listen. Kathy Minardi, Sue Pritzker and Peter Davidson, our conference presenters, will lead us in a welcoming and community building activity designed to bring us together, become acquainted with one another as we begin our time together over the coming days and start the process of bonding and building relationships.      

16:00-18:00 Keynote Speech by Kathy Minardi, Sue Pritzker and Peter Davidson

“The true nature of a Montessori school”

What are the essential attitudes that define Montessori?

How do these attitudes inform leadership within our schools?

In the grand opening of the conference we will distill the Montessori school to its essential characteristics and at the same time we will remind ourselves that school is more than the sum of its parts - it is a living organic system. We will learn how to better nurture and guide our schools as they evolve and develop. We will explore current best thinking on leadership together. We will look at the congruency between Montessori pedagogical principles and the new leadership frameworks that see organizations as living organic systems.  

Friday

8:30-10:00 Keynote Speech by Sue Pritzker

“Guiding the Guide: The Journey from Beginning Teacher to Mature Professional”

The work of the teaching professional is the cornerstone of a healthy school system. Guiding the stages of teacher development, both personal and professional, should be a focus for every school leader. Using essential Montessori principles, we can support adult development throughout the school. When the teacher engages in the process of reflection and transformation, they can achieve mastery and maturity in their work and the classroom becomes a laboratory of social change with the children as the benefactors.

10:30-12:00 Discussions in Assigned Groups

Each participant will be assigned to a particular group, based on the role in their school, years of experience and level of training. Discussion in Assigned Groups will be moderated by Kathy, Sue and Peter.  You will be assigned to a group for the duration of the conference. The goal of Assigned Groups is to dive deep into the topic of the Keynote Speeches or the Open Choice Sessions and through the heterogeneity of the group learn, grow and enrich each member of it.

13:30-15:00 Open Choice Workshops

Peter Davidson: “Hiring and Retaining the Right Teachers and Keeping Them With You for Years”

The quality of teachers can make or break a school, so how do you avoid common mistakes and hire teachers with the right personal characteristics to be successful in your school?  And, once you have found them, how do you keep them for the long run so you are not continually hiring new ones? This session will give you the tools to make your hiring decisions more reliable and objective, while also giving you insight into the three key elements that will encourage new hires and current employees to want to stay with you forever.

Sue Pritzker: “Creating a Structure of Support for your Montessori Guides”

Do you want to work with a harmonious team? Do you want to minimize staff drama and have everyone be “on the same page”? Everyone does their best work when there is structure to work within and clear expectations of all.  In this session we will study the policies and procedures that provide the structural framework of the teacher’s employment. We will review samples of staff employment letters, job descriptions, self-evaluation forms, and professional development plans.  We will discuss what should be in a staff handbook, a staff file and what is needed for a strong system for staff communication. Participants will leave with a toolkit of templates to set clear and supportive expectations and that build confidence and professionalism.

Kathy Minardi: “Developing a Dream Team”

What are the secret ingredients of a professional, motivated and mutually committed staff? How does the leader create a high performing culture where every unique staff member shines and yet works collaboratively as a part of the team?  You will learn practical tools that generate mutual trust and respect, learn methods that motivate staff to contribute their best efforts and embrace professional work behavior, and take home an understanding of how to put this new knowledge into action

16:00-18:00 Discussions in Assigned Groups

Each participant will be assigned to a particular group, based on the role in their school, years of experience and level of training. Discussion in Assigned Groups will be moderated by Kathy, Sue and Peter.  You will be assigned to a group for the duration of the conference. The goal of Assigned Groups is to dive deep into the topic of the Keynote Speeches or the Open Choice Sessions and through the heterogeneity of the group learn, grow and enrich each member of it.

Saturday

8:30-10:00 Keynote Speech by Peter Davidson

“Understanding Parents and How They Fit into the Whole System that is your School”

A systems approach to a Montessori school must include an understanding of the perspective of parents and a willingness to welcome them into the whole.  It also means applying Montessori attitudes and principles not only in our interactions with the children, but also their parents. Parents come to our school with fixed ideas of education based on their own childhood experiences.  How can we best open their minds to a better understanding of Montessori and their child’s true nature? Learn how to work with the parents so that they will work with the school and their child’s teacher for the optimal support of their child.

10:30-12:00 Discussions in Assigned Groups

Each participant will be assigned to a particular group, based on the role in their school, years of experience and level of training. Discussion in Assigned Groups will be moderated by Kathy, Sue and Peter.  You will be assigned to a group for the duration of the conference. The goal of Assigned Groups is to dive deep into the topic of the Keynote Speeches or the Open Choice Sessions and through the heterogeneity of the group learn, grow and enrich each member of it.

13:30-15:00 Open Choice Workshops

Sue Pritzker: “Building a Bridge of Trust With Parents”

Do we know what parents really want? Do we build our partnership with parents or do we expect parents to take the leap of faith? This session will explore the intentional, systematic way we can help parents feel like trusted, valued members of our community.  We will discuss how our marketing and enrollment materials can answer the questions that parents bring and clearly outline the school’s expectations. We will explore ways that activities can promote the school mission and honor our parents for their contributions to our school. We will share how surveys, individual meetings with school leaders, and exit interviews can inform your practice and help construct the bridge of trust.

Peter Davidson: “Keeping Families in your School”

Most schools invest time and money in marketing and recruitment of new families, but forget that it is equally important to keep the families you already have!  This session will give you tools to keep students returning year after year, especially during those critical transitions into their kindergarten year and beyond.

Kathy Minardi: “The Survival Guide for Working with Difficult Parents”

As Montessori educators and leaders, we can feel challenged and threatened when interactions with parents are unpleasant, emotions are strong and there is disagreement.  It is easy to even take those experiences personally. Working with difficult parents is something most educators dread. I will share some of the lessons I learned while dealing with difficult parents and share the very effective methods I learned for dealing with crucial conversations. We need to be able to manage situations with respect while also maintaining our own position on matters concerning the school or a child. We will learn these key methods that help manage situations with difficult parents, and then take the time to practice them together.

 16:00-18:00 Open Space Gatherings

Discussion of topics of interest through “Open Space” gatherings. This process will give participants the opportunity to self-organize into groups of common interest and talk about topics that matter. Plan to bring something you want to talk about and you will have a chance to call together a group to discuss it in “Open Space.”  The process and guidelines will be presented just before we begin the process.

Sunday

8:30-10:00 Keynote Speech by Kathy Minardi

“Keys to Leadership”

Connecting with the attitudes, mindset, characteristics and principles of an organic Montessori school we began with on the first day, we will explore the inner work of leadership that is required in order to nurture the resilience, courage and clarity necessary within ourselves to lead and evolve the Montessori school. Leadership is an extraordinary challenge in our complex times in the world. Learn about the key areas of our own practice that we need to invest in and develop so that we can serve others at our best.

10:30-12:00 Discussions in Assigned Groups

Each participant will be assigned to a particular group, based on the role in their school, years of experience and level of training. Discussion in Assigned Groups will be moderated by Kathy, Sue and Peter.  You will be assigned to a group for the duration of the conference. The goal of Assigned Groups is to dive deep into the topic of the Keynote Speeches or the Open Choice Sessions and through the heterogeneity of the group learn, grow and enrich each member of it.

13:30-15:00 Closing Session by Kathy Minardi, Sue Pritzker and Peter Davidson

As a community of Montessori leaders from many countries, we will come all together before we return home for a special closing session.  We will enjoy a unique activity designed to integrate what we learned in this first annual conference. And we will share among many new friends our next steps as we head back to school with greater clarity, vision and courage. Plan to participate fully in this important closing.   

Pricelist

Registration fee includes:
Access to the Main program of the conference
Conference materials
Coffee breaks and lunches

Early bird

(from the start of registrations until May 30, 2018)

Registration

400 Eur / 10 000 Czk


Group discount 10% for 3 persons and more
from one organization

360 Eur / 9 000 Czk

Standard

(from June 1-
September 30, 2018)

Registration

420 Eur / 10 500 Czk


Group discount 10% for 3 persons and more
from one organization

380 Eur / 9 500 Czk

Late and Onsite

(from October 1, 2018 until the event)

Registration

450 Eur / 11 250 Czk


Group discount 10% for 3 persons and more
from one organization

405 Eur / 10 125 Czk

Additional events:

1 day seminar "Montessori across planes” by Elina Rautasalo, AMI trainer


100 Eur / 2 500 Czk

October 31
9am-5pm

Group dinner - degustation of Czech traditional meals and beers


40 Eur / 1 000 Czk

November 1
7pm-9m

Sight-seeing tour of Prague in English with a guide
(2 hrs)


50 Eur / 1 250 Czk

November 2
7pm-9m

Reserve a place

Venue

  • Impact Hub
  • Prague 5

Date of Event

  • Nov 1-4 2018
  • Start at 13:30

Contact

Tel: +420 603 434 978