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 leading interactive 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 consolidate what we are trying to do. Her examples were great, and the practical ideas were very easy to implement. They were some new insights regarding theory, but it was mostly to refresh what I had learned. 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 perspective. 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 encounters similar classroom difficulties as we do e.g. children using colour tablets as railway tracks. It was reassuring to know that others who have many more years of teaching experience than me encounter similar situations.
The music was so beautiful. I learned so much 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 centre 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 a 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!