MANZ Conference 2015
A pathway to creative expression
He ara hei whakaputa i te wairua auaha
The conference is over ... many thanks to Polli Soholt and Marcia Perez who made the long trip from the United States to join our community in New Zealand. Thanks also to the New Zealand speakers who shared their work on the Montessori Journey to Excellence - Rhonda Davison, Florence Coram-Lasnier, Lois McConnell, Marie-Luce Thevenon, Jan Gaffney, Cathy Wilson and Ruth Libby. And a final acknowledgement to Adie Grahm, MAssey University for leadinginteractive workshops on professional learning groups - integral to the future of the Montessori Journey to Excellence.
Polli's workshops mainly helped me build on existing knowledge and consolidated what we are trying to do. Her examples were great and the practical ideas very easy to implement. They were some new insights regarding theory but it was mostly to refresh what I had learnt. Nothing radically new, but a great feeling of strengthening!
Coming from a traditionally trained music background I thoroughly enjoyed learning about how to introduce and teach music concepts from a Montessori prespective. It was refreshing to gain new insights into this area.
Polli was a wonderful speaker, very inspiring and covered a range of topics. I liked the fact she mentioned that she enounters similar classroom difficulties as we do e.g. children using colour tablets as railway tracks. Was reassuring to know that others, who have many more years teaching experience than me encounter similar
The music was so beautiful. I had learnt so much of practical stuff which I can practice with the children.
I love the theme created each year and the international speakers that really inspire us to become better Montessori teachers. I also value the work that is being done in New Zealand and found the MJ2Ex workshops to be of the most interest to me, learning lots of information about ERO, appraisals, teaching practice
and self-review - really key things that are happening within Montessori centres in New Zealand now.
The information on MJ2Ex was inspiring and left me motivated and excited for the future.
I was torn between choosing which workshops to go to-they all sounded amazing but I was very happy with my choice. I was reminded of a lot of things I hadn't been doing for a while and while there wasn't a huge amount of new information I still came away with lots of practical ideas for the classroom and some topics of discussion for
the staff at our center about why or not we do things!
The keynote speakers were amazing as always. I only wish that the MJ2Ex workshops had much more of a profile encouraging greater participation. I think for Montessori in NZ, this presentation would have been most valuable...
It was really useful and fun experience for our team. I was really looking forward to learning more about music education and I confidently purchased a set of bells for our classroom after the workshop. What we already know isn't everything, new ideas and suggestions are really valuable for the teachers and the children. So happy!
2014 MANZ Conference
The Reflective Montessori Practitioner
Te Pouaaki Huritao o Montessori
The conference is over for another year. Thanks to our international speakers Uma Ramani and Jamie Rue, to Nicki Dowling and Karen MacKay from Massey University and to all the New Zealand teachers who presented at the Montessori Journey to Excellence BusStop.
Feedback has been amazing and here are some comments from delegates
Different speakers , different style, yet similar content and strong messages. It felt consistent.Very inspiring keynotes and workshops. It has refreshed my vision for Montessori education once again.
Uma and Jamie were both great choices... so difficult to choose between their workshops though!
When I first saw the programme my reaction was "what no workshop choices" but the conference structure this year really nurtured the process of deepening your exploration as each workshop extended the learning of the previous workshop. Well done!
I really enjoyed the energy and enthusiasm Jamie Rue shared with our group. She had wonderful and practical tips which I feel I can immediately put into practice and I am excited to go back and re-read my albums.
Just awesome. Uma Ramani, particularly for our age group, needs to be physically bottled and sold.
The bus stop was the most insightful, relevant learning I have ever had at a MANZ conference in 14 years. It was definitely worthwhile having MANZ invest in the Montessori Journey to Excellence Pilot.
Montessori Journey to Excellence is an amazing initiative that is obviously yielding positive results for those schools participating. I think those involved have shown extraordinary commitment to Montessori education by taking this on, on top of their teaching work load, and all of us stand to benefit from their learnings.
LOVED some of the (pilot programme) ideas,identified with the common themes of their processes, eg recognising that staff come from different training programmes, different age/experience bases and how to bring them together before anything else can happen. I feel inspired to follow through with some of their ideas, eg documentation which allows for ease of planning.Lots to think about!
2013 MANZ Conference
Reflecting on Community Me Whakaaro Hāpori
Rydges Hotel, 75 Featherston Street, Wellington
Saturday April 20, 12.30pm - Monday April 22, 4pm
Our 2013 conference reflected on the importance of community and explored how to nurture a sense of community with children and students of all ages and their families.
Thanks to the 230 delegates from around New Zealand, our four keynote speakers, 14 teachers from New Zealand who lked or shared in workshops for creating a sense of connection and community over the three days in Wellington.
Some of feedback from delegates:
Most valuable – Collecting new ideas to use in the classroom
Most fun – Singing .. meeting and talking to others
Most informative – Having reinforced that ‘community’ is the heart of Montessori
Most valuable – Reconnecting with familiar faces, sharing the daily experiences of the class
Most fun – Connie Black was so engaging and wonderful role model to learn from
Most valuable – Learning more about communities working together and coming together
Most valuable – Recognising what I am doing well as a teacher and what I need to change, learning more about special needs from Wendy Fidler
Most informative – Sessions on observation and Jaime Rue's workshops, practicality of Carol Pott's grace and courtesy workshop
Most informative – I really enjoyed the research presentations – especially Ed Stanford's action research – inspiring about what can be done!
We hope you enjoy viewing some video from the conference.
NICOLA CHISNALL Montessori - an critically engaged pedagogy
CONNIE BLACK Sense of community - a hallmark of our approach
JAMIE RUE - Why strong community matters for older children
WENDY FIDLER - Are there really more children with special needs these days ?