The 2016 Refresher Course and Workshops took place Presidents’ Day weekend last month in warm and sunny Long Beach, California. We were delighted to welcome 989 teachers, administrators, parents, and assistants, along with the 125 participants of the NAMTA Adolescent Workshop. Participants at this year’s Refresher Course indeed went Beyond the Pink Tower. Among the weekend’s many highlights were the Keynote Address with Dr. Travis Wright, who provided both laughter and tears in his talk on childhood trauma; a closing ceremony with AMI Executive Director Lynne Lawrence about the important work of Educateurs sans Frontières; an Assistants’ Workshop that allowed assistants at all three levels to learn from AMI trainers; and much more. The Friday workshops continued to be well-attended and to receive high praise, as Una Barry, Dr. Silvia Dubovoy, and the Montessori Public Policy Initiative provided hands-on opportunities. The format was adjusted this year, to allow for workshops on special topics to be held on Monday morning. Workshops on public Montessori, bilingual education, and the work of the adolescent allowed participants to go deeper into their practice and to think further about how the work we do extends beyond the materials in our albums.
Special thanks are in order to the AMI-EAA Board, NAMTA, Lynne Lawrence, and all the amazing volunteers who made the Refresher Course a success. AMI/USA hopes you had a wonderful time in Long Beach, and looks forward to seeing everyone next year in Austin, Texas!