We are excited to bring a lineup of engaging workshops to the Refresher Course again this year! Open to both AMI trained professionals and the general public, these workshops offer insight into various topics related to this year’s theme: The Complete Classroom. Scroll below to learn more.

The 2018 Refresher Course & Workshops will take place at the Arizona Grand Resort in Phoenix, AZ. Click here to make a room reservation using the AMI group rate.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 16

Mindfulness & Montessori: A Focus on Teacher Well-being and Stress Relief
Presented by: Breon Michel, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Teachers are pulled in a million directions in order to meet the ever-changing needs of children and their families. The mind can feel like a sandstorm at the end of a jam-packed school day. This is where mindfulness comes in.

Learn how mindfulness can quiet a busy mind, help teachers respond to challenging situations with greater ease, and serve as an energy boost throughout the day. The class will include an overview of what mindfulness is and how it relates to teacher well-being + classroom behavior. Teachers will take home research-based, practical tools, including short guided mindfulness meditations, that help them incorporate mindful breaks at work and home.

Support Services and Interventions for Children in AMI Elementary Environments
Presented by: Liesl Taylor, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Increasingly high percentages of children are experiencing levels of challenge and crisis significantly detrimental to their ability to access all that our environments have to offer. How do we approach supporting all children in the AMI school setting? With whom do we collaborate? How do we better prepare our selves and our environments for this essential work? Grounded in the context of Montessori pedagogy and contemporary research, we’ll delve into case studies as we consider these questions. By doing so, our point of departure in responding to a child in crisis or with significant challenges is from a place of deeper knowledge, understanding, and compassion, affording every child increased access to a richer and more meaningful education.

Advocacy Training for Montessori Public Policy
Presented by: Ashley LiBetti Mitchel, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

This workshop will provide information for advocates for excellence in Montessori education. You will learn about legislative and regulatory processes germane to the education policy world, and how to build strong coalitions for action. You will also learn about the Montessori Public Policy Initiative—a collaboration between AMS and the Association Montessori International/USA—and the exciting progress the organization is making to support effective policies to protect authentic Montessori implementation.

Introduction to Montessori for Ageing and Dementia
Presented by: Jennifer Brush, 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Montessori for Ageing and Dementia is an innovative approach to dementia care that can be adopted for individuals or groups as a philosophy of care. The goal of the Montessori program is to support older adults and people living with dementia by creating a prepared environment, filled with cues and memory supports, that enables individuals to care for themselves, others, and their community.  We strive to develop communities that treat individuals with respect and dignity and honor their choices so that they may live as independently as possible.  In 2014, AMI invited Montessori and Dementia experts from across the globe to form the first Advisory Group for Montessori for Ageing and Dementia (MAGAD).  MAGAD is the main advisory board to AMI on all matters concerning the application of the Montessori approach for older people and persons living with dementia.  To date, the Group has created a charter, standards, and quality indicators for aged care communities, developed a workshop curriculum and has established specific guidelines for obtaining a Practitioner’s Certificate in Montessori for Ageing and Dementia. This presentation will provide an overview of this innovate program.

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 19

Embracing Equity
Presented by: Daisy Han, 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Peace education and social justice are cornerstones of the Montessori Philosophy.  For adults to effectively talk with children about race and prejudice, we need to explore our own biases and beliefs. This presentation addresses human issues that everyone faces and helps participants recognize how they can better understand and work toward solving, or at least improving, these issues. Participants will personally reflect in a “spiritual preparation of self” to confront socialized and entrenched notions of privilege, identity and social justice. Participants should feel better equipped with newfound knowledge and empathy, and be prepared to apply the lessons they learned in their own lives, teaching practice, and communities.

Educateurs sans Frontières
Presented by: Lynne Lawrence, 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Lynne Lawrence and EsF Assembly participants will present an overview of the history of EsF with highlights from past assemblies.  Special presentations will feature the diversity and reach of initiatives that have been inspired by the mission and vision of Educateurs sans Frontières.   We will also present a preview of upcoming EsF assemblies, beginning with the 2018 assembly to be held in Cape Town, South Africa, August 4-18, 2018.  Please join us if you want to learn more about how you can become involved in this exciting outreach programme of AMI.

AMI’s Bold Goal in Action (Closing Session)
Presented by: Lynne Lawrence, 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

In this presentation, Lynne Lawrence, AMI’s Executive Director, will share what we have learned and what we intend to achieve through AMI’s Bold Goal project. AMI inaugurated its Bold Goal in 2016 to create a sustainable strategy for tripling the number of AMI trainees within five years and to increase our social impact in the U.S. Please join Lynne as she closes this year’s Refresher Course and calls upon all of the AMI community to help lead our vision for increased impact in the U.S. in the next five years and beyond.