Highlights and News from HMEI

Hope Montessori Educational Institute
2020 Fall Speaker's Series Online

First Saturday of Each Month: October – December
(also available on demand on our website)

Geoffrey Bishop

October 3rd

Nature: The First and Essential Environment

Geoffrey Bishop

Executive Director and Founder Natures Classroom Institute Montessori School serving students 2.5-16 years. Located in Mukwonago, WI 2001-Present. Undergraduate Degree in Horticulture, Ryde School of Horticulture; Australia University of Melbourne, Australia, Master of Landscape Architecture Prelim, Montessori Administration. Geoffrey is a member of the AMS Board of Directors and the Chair of the Montessori Life Editorial Board.

Geoffrey built an organic farm from scratch, developing a strong youth educational program around the sustainability of farming. Integrating both Animal Husbandry and plant science in a dynamic farm environment for students to learn and experience.

Presentation Description

Nature, as it is connected to a child’s development is a fundamental and important aspect of educating the whole child. In mainstream education the natural environment is sidelined and mostly ignored as an inconsequential part of a child’s well-being. This could not be further from the truth, studies have proven that a child’s connection to the natural world enhances their ability to focus, to concentrate, to create, take risks and to imagine. This connection has far reaching health benefits in the areas of social and emotional health, well-being, and physical health.

We dream of a time when the natural world was a part of our daily routine. Now with the advent of electronics, mass media and box stores, it is hard to find the time or the energy to reconnect with nature. Terms like “Nature Deficit Disorder”, “No child left inside” and the “Eatable school yard” makes us feel so inadequate, that we become helpless in being able to fight back. Nature is as an important part of our health, physically, socially and emotionally as any other academic or social pursuit.

This workshop gives teacher two things. First it will energize and revitalize the teachers need to reconnect their children to nature, to re-embrace the natural world and to discover the importance of that connection. The second aspect of the workshop will highlight different activities and curriculum ideas teachers can use to reengage their children and connect them to the natural world. We will look at Art and Nature, silence and listening connections, literature and writing exercises that bring nature to the four front and engage students in an environmental way. We will look at play and the benefits that the natural world with its loose parts, excited children to play in a focused and creative manner.

Workshop Summary

Are your students Nature deficient? How do we engage children in Nature? How do I bring Nature to my urban classroom? Is nature that important? What does the research say and what does Montessori say? Through stories, Poetry, play, art, and hands-on activities this workshop will answer these questions. Gain a "Sense of Wonder" through immersing your students in Nature.

Goals and Outcomes
  • Participants will understand the importance of Nature for the appropriate development of a child.
  • They will gain insight into how to achieve a child’s connection to Nature with limited resources.
  • They will gain hands on activities for their students and be inspired to create activities and projects for their own classrooms and schools.

Crystal Dahlmeier

November 7th

The Courageous Heart: Montessori at the Crossroads

Crystal Dahlmeier

Crystal Dahlmeier received a BS in Biology from Marietta College and a M.Ed. in Montessori Education at Xavier University. She was lead teacher/principal at Xavier University Montessori Lab School for 17 years, where she also taught both graduate and undergraduate classes in Montessori and Early Childhood Education. Crystal received National Board Certification and is a PITC Certified Infant/Toddler Trainer. She has served as the Teacher Section Chair for the American Montessori Society and has taught in Montessori Programs in Perth, Western Australia, England, Seoul, South Korea, and China. She is Program Director Emerita at the Greater Cincinnati Center for Montessori Education Teacher Education Program in northern Kentucky. She continues to teach in that program and acts as a field consultant. Ms. Dahlmeier presents workshops, is a conference presenter both nationally and internationally, and has been a keynote speaker at Montessori conferences in New Zealand, Australia, and England. She has had articles published in Montessori journals and Young Children.

Presentation Description

"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says, 'I'll try again tomorrow.'"

—Mary Anne Radmacher

As Montessori guides, we know the impact the Montessori prepared environment can have on children, families, community, and ourselves. As we teach, however, we often face obstacles that challenge our commitments and beliefs.

Join us as we explore the key characteristics of Montessori programs, and examine the current factors that challenge the Montessori philosophy and practices. Does current research support our tenets? Do modern children still have the same developmental needs that Montessori identified over 100 years ago? Are mandated state standards, licensing regulations, emphasis on testing, expectations of parents requiring compromise and accommodation?

Using illustration and story, we will explore the pressures (both internal and external) that challenge our daily work with children.

Goals and Outcomes
  • Participants will be able to describe 3 professional challenges they currently face.
  • Participants will be able to describe 3 ways they will revitalize their teaching practices.
  • Participants will be able to identify strategies and techniques they can use for self-reflection in their professional growth and development.

Uniit Carruyo

December 5th

H.E.A.R.T. Centered Montessori Practice

Uniit Carruyo

Uniit Carruyo is an author, artist, and educator with 25 years’ experience with children 0-6. She is the Infant Toddler Level & Practicum Coordinator at West Side Montessori School Teacher Education Program. Ms. Carruyo’s publications include Team Teaching in Early Childhood Settings: Leadership Tools for Reflective Practice (Red Leaf Press, 2017), The Infant Toddler Journal, Ithaca Child, and Clarice, her self-published children's book. She founded and directs Wiggles & Wings Early Education Consulting.

Ms. Carruyo holds an MS Ed Leadership from Bank Street College of Education, a BS in Psychology from SUNY Fredonia, and an IT AMS credential from CME.

Presentation Description

2020 has called us as a society to a cultural (r)evolution. In order to meet the moment fully, educators must embrace what I call H.E.A.R.T. Centered Montessori Practice. This workshop will break down the individual elements of a H.E.A.R.T. approach to education that will align our practice with History, Empathy, ABAR work, and Reflection, to Transform our teaching practice.

Together we will explore these elements to stretch out of our comfort zones and step into continued growth as Montessori guides. With our H.E.A.R.T. centered practice, we further the inner preparation of self that allows us to embody Montessori principles with any age human beings in our spheres of influence.

Goals and Outcomes
  • Participants will be able to describe the history of the Montessori Method and its relevance to H.E.A.R.T.
  • Participants will take away 3 skills to empathize with their students and parents.
  • Participants will be able to state the goals of ABAR work in the Montessori Classroom.
  • Participants will practice 2 techniques of reflection to assist in the transformation of their teaching practice.

Click Here to Register!