Engaging Families Webinar
January 21, 2023
In response to the expressed needs of our members, we are happy to announce the launch of our AMI/USA Teacher Workshops Series. These virtual professional development sessions are designed for classroom guides and assistants and focus on supporting them in their professional growth and helping them meet the needs of the students and families they serve. We currently plan to host teacher workshops approximately each quarter and design content in response to relevant needs of our teachers and assistants.
Our inaugural teacher workshop on January 21, 2023 will focus on building meaningful relationships with families and host a panel of 3 Montessori educators and administrators, Clara Borders, Keinya Kohlbecker, and Jon Churn of AMI/USA. While we will briefly touch on level specific topics like Montessori in the home, this workshop is designed for teachers and assistants at all levels looking for practical insights and tips for building supportive partnerships with student families. We’ll be discussing topics such as effective conferences, engaging with families in times of difficulty, and building equity centered partnerships.
Clara Borders is the Academy Director at Mastro Montessori Academy in Shrewsbury, NJ and is responsible for the overall functioning of the school with a commitment to ensuring that the academy continues to provide students with an authentic AMI Montessori education. Ms. Borders began her career in Montessori education in 2007 and has her AMI Montessori Certification from The Montessori Institute in Denver, her undergraduate degree in Sociology, and her master’s degree in Montessori Education. She has 4 children, all of whom have gone through or are completing their careers as Montessori students. Not only is Montessori her professional career, but a philosophy she and her family live by at home as well.
Keinya Kohlbecker (she/her)
Keinya Kohlbecker (she/her) is Assistant Head of School with Harmony Montessori School in Portland, Oregon. Her Montessori journey began in 2001, as a classroom assistant in a small Montessori program in Nevada. She was inspired to learn more about the Montessori Method and moved to Portland, Oregon to pursue the Montessori Diploma for Primary Level at Montessori Northwest, as well as her Master’s Degree from Loyola University. Over the years, her engagement with a variety of families in schools has opened her eyes to the endless possibilities of community building and partnerships. Keinya states, “the child is the extension of the family and I honor that child and their family as a significant part of a school community.” Last, Keinya enjoys learning dance choreography, reading about historical events, the outdoors, and most of all spending time with her husband Matt, her teenage son, Noah, and her dog, Dean.
Jon Churn (he/him)
Jon is a passionate career Montessori educator and school leader with over 30 years of experience. He holds an AMI Elementary diploma from the Washington Montessori Institute and a Masters of education from Loyola University. Over the course of his Montessori journey, Jon has served as an elementary lead guide, school administrator, board member for the Montessori Administrators Association (MAA), conference presenter and educational consultant. Jon currently serves as the Director of Innovation and Advancement for AMI/USA.