Lead Montessori 2019 Program

Second International Conference for Montessori School Owners and Directors and Administrators

Thursday

12:30-13:00 Conference Opening 

Lead Montessori is "non-denominational" international community of Montessori School Founders, Owners, Managers, Principals, Administrators and other school leaders. Everyone and anyone is invited to come!

Lead Montessori community first met in Prague in 2018.

Very quickly we became an ecosystem of people who want to learn, grow, connect, share and network together. We understand that our collective intelligence and experience enriches not just us, but also our schools, our staff, parents and our children, it makes us stronger and helps us to amplify our impact. It also helps us remember that it is our personal ledership what makes our schools successful and sustainable and therefore, we must not forget to care for ourselves. 

The 2019 Conference Opening will be a reunion of people who attended the Lead Montessori 2018 and a warm welcome to new participants. The Opening will be organised as a community building activity meant to bring us together, catch up on the time which has past since the last time we saw each other, become acquainted with one another and begin our time together over the coming days.      

13:00-14:30 Keynote Speech by Sue Pritzker

“The Child Environment and Beyond: Weaving Authentic Montessori into the Fabric of the Whole School”

Maria Montessori’s work is deep and lasting. When we choose to call our school Montessori we are committed to live and work by the inspiration and guidance of Montessori’s discoveries. That work starts in each classroom because the prepared environment for the children is created on those principles by teachers who have studied and practiced them.

When those same principles are infused into the many mundane functions of the school community, they become tangible in the environment.  They are experienced when a visitor walks through the door. They create an aura around interactions and activity. Being in the environment feels healthy and nurturing, filled with happiness and possibilities.  

How does this happen? This presentation explores specific undertakings that incorporate Montessori principles and guarantee they are understood and practiced in the community: In the work of a board of trustees, in the daily communication and decision-making process, in the implementation of the school’s mission, in the school’s marketing, in the growth of parents as Montessori scholars and ambassadors, in the engagement of volunteers, in the support of teachers toward authentic practice in their “environments”.  

The creation of an authentic Montessori environment assures a sustainable organization; one that will be available for generations to come, serving the children and grandchildren of our community.

15:00-16:30 Workshops and Case Studies

Each participant will be assigned to a particular group, based on the role in their school, years of experience and level of training. Work in workshop groups will be moderated by Kathy, Sue and Peter and their helpers.  The goal of practical workshops and case studies is to dive deep into the practice resulting from topic of the Keynote Speeches of the day. Topics of practical workshops will be published soon.

17:30-18:30 Reflection Groups

Reflection Groups present the last step of the Montessori Three Period Lesson, according to which we organised the conference days this year. We will remember what we learned this day. We will name it, reflect upon it, share our "AHA moments" and will identify what concrete steps we can and need to take when we go back to our schools. Work in Reflection Groups will be moderated by Kathy, Sue and Peter and their helpers. 

Friday

9:00-10:30 Keynote Speech by Peter Davidson

“Sustaining the Leader to Sustain the School”

There are so many demands upon us as leaders. 

We inspire, we support, we encourage. We protect the children, and the staff, and the authenticity of Montessori. We are called upon to handle difficult situations, make difficult decisions, and have difficult conversations. 

So often, though, we are so preoccupied with the needs of the institution and its constituents that our own needs are relegated to the end of the line, if at all. 

Is it any wonder that too often school leaders simply "burn out" before their time? If they do so, however, they fail to live up to the fullness of their responsibilities as a leader. In order for schools to be sustainable, leaders must consider the question: "How do I sustain myself?" Learn about effective ways that we Montessori leaders can truly sustain ourselves to be our best in this important work.

11:00-13:00 Workshops and Case Studies

Each participant will be assigned to a particular group, based on the role in their school, years of experience and level of training. Work in workshop groups will be moderated by Kathy, Sue and Peter and their helpers.  The goal of practical workshops and case studies is to dive deep into the practice resulting from topic of the Keynote Speeches of the day. Topics of practical workshops will be published soon.

14:30-16:00 Reflection Groups

Reflection Groups present the last step of the Montessori Three Period Lesson, according to which we organised the conference days this year. We will remember what we learned this day. We will name it, reflect upon it, share our "AHA moments" and will identify what concrete steps we can and need to take when we go back to our schools. Work in Reflection Groups will be moderated by Kathy, Sue and Peter and their helpers. 

16:30-17:30 School Stories

Each participant who wants to share will have the opportunity to in one way or another share their school story. Stories inspire and encourage, they help us create bonds, remember each other, they are an ever lasting source of energy, joy and appreciation for one another. Our school stories are and always will be inter-woven into the story of Lead Montessori.

Saturday

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

“Creating a thriving staff culture for sustainability”

Recruiting and hiring Montessori staff is challenging enough, but then comes the challenge of creating a culture where everyone working at the school is thriving.

A thriving staff community is one of the conditions of  a sustainable school.

Thriving means being healthy, happy, effective and productive in all the ways we need to be individually and together in our work.

Teachers and staff are likely to want to stay in a school if they are working within a staff culture that is deliberately focused on the personal and professional growth of each staff member. This creates a rewarding and powerful motivation to do our best. It also directly impacts the success of the school’s optimal work in aiding children. We enable a love of learning among the children we serve in Montessori.

As school leaders, we can foster this same growth mindset and culture within the staff community.  It is called a “deliberately developmental” workplace.

This presentation explores what it means for adults to continue to grow and develop and the impact that it can have on school life. Learn about ways that a Montessori school leader can promote a healthy and thriving learning community for the staff as a way to foster sustainability.    

11:00-13:00 Workshops and Case Studies

Each participant will be assigned to a particular group, based on the role in their school, years of experience and level of training. Work in workshop groups will be moderated by Kathy, Sue and Peter and their helpers.  The goal of practical workshops and case studies is to dive deep into the practice resulting from topic of the Keynote Speeches of the day. Topics of practical workshops will be published soon.

14:30-16:00 Reflection Groups

Reflection Groups present the last step of the Montessori Three Period Lesson, according to which we organised the conference days this year. We will remember what we learned this day. We will name it, reflect upon it, share our "AHA moments" and will identify what concrete steps we can and need to take when we go back to our schools. Work in Reflection Groups will be moderated by Kathy, Sue and Peter and their helpers. 

16:30-17:30 School Stories

Each participant who wants to share will have the opportunity to in one way or another share their school story. Stories inspire and encourage, they help us create bonds, remember each other, they are an ever lasting source of energy, joy and appreciation for one another. Our school stories are and always will be inter-woven into the story of Lead Montessori.

Sunday

9:00-11:30 Open Space and Reports to the Forum

Open Space gathering is an opportunity for all conference participants to bring to the forum their own burning issues. In Open Space we will ask you all to create a circles around your own themes. This is your time to speak up and share what you need to talk about. Are you opening and adolescent program and you need help? Are you struggling to help children with special needs? Are you looking for trained teachers and you are not able to find any? These are some of the topics discussed last year. We will divide into groups according to your topics of discussion and "pre-trained" moderators will lead the group work. At the end of the Open Space each group will present results of their discussion. And if we can, we will think creatively how to sustain communicating about the themes which were brought up. Perhaps we can create work groups or google communication groups and stay connected after the conference, we will see, there are no limits to our community creativity. 

11:30-13:00 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 another unique activity designed to integrate what we learned in this second 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.