Inspiration from Catherine McTamaney
In February, I had the pleasure of helping organize, present, and participate in the annual Convention of the Utah Montessori Council. There were so many highlights for me, but one of the best was playing host to our keynote speaker and author of The Tao of Montessori, Catherine McTamaney. Catherine has a Montessori background richer than almost anyone I know. Her mother trained Montessori teachers and she grew up with guests and dinner conversations that most of us would love to have heard. She brings a thoughtful, yet very practical, approach to one of the greatest challenges of creating high quality Montessori education: thorough preparation of the adult. I’ll talk more elsewhere about using her book for that purpose, but for now my recommendation is just: get it. Better yet, buy two because you are going to want to give it away and you really want to have copy to keep and mark up.
Montessori in Utah Grows Up
It was a wonderful two days of meeting new friends and connecting with women I had admired for years – both for their accomplishments in the Montessori community and others. L’Deanne Trueblood was a pioneer in Montessori education for children under age 3 in Utah and creates breathtaking sculpture. She’s been a role model and inspiration for me for decades. Seeing the growth and restructuring of schools that grew, combined, and extended their class offerings to older and older children was so gratifying. Montessori for teenagers was unheard of in Utah when I had my school, but the convention was held in at Walden charter school that serves children from age 3 to 18.
Priority Montessori Materials Founders
Another highlight was chatting with vendors of innovative Montessori and even hearing a bit of insider gossip – right from the source. The dedicated couple who started Priority Montessori Materials in 1987, Ed and Ruth Pryor of Californina and now Colorado, told me they were putting the company up for sale and retiring. Fortunately, they got their wish that their,“Science and Cultural subject materials will continue to be available to Montessori teachers who just can’t find time to make them.” All my favorites from them are still up on the Priority web site that now lists an Arizona address. I look forward to getting to know the new owners at a future convention.
A New Twist on Pink, Blue, Green Reading
Finally, I had a chance to present my ideas on an updated version of the traditional Montessori Pink, Blue & Green reading scheme and on recordkeeping. It is always a joy to make phonics instruction a little simpler and more useful to teachers and parents. Those who attended were great groups who made me feel very appreciated and contributed so much to each topic. The handouts for those two Convention sessions are below for a limited time for the convenience of those attendees. To understand the points that are just highlighted there, please check out my Language and Phonics programs, as well as Classroom Leadership and Management.
To contact me about presenting at your school or event, please send me an email.