Conferences such as those hosted by Southeast Montessori Collective pivoted from an in-person to an online format in response to school closures this year, while others remain planned live events.
Virginia Montessori Association stated, “we were affected by Covid-19 early in the spring by having to cancel a Speaker Series event at Staunton Montessori School. We have tabled our regular Annual Full-day Conference scheduled for November because we are not sure what the fall will bring. We have pivoted our professional development work by offering activities and platforms for support on a smaller scale, sharing resources on our website and Facebook page, and publishing newsletters at an increased frequency. We are also holding Administrators Discussions and Advocacy Meetings via Zoom to keep our Heads of School in Virginia updated on issues that will affect their operations. We plan to spread this outreach idea to different levels of teachers, staff, and families once our State’s plan for the fall is made clear. VMA aims to be seen as the hub of resources for ‘all things Montessori’ in Virginia.”
Tammy Oesting of the Principles to Practice Summit stated, “The P2P Summit couldn’t have come at a better time, meeting educators’ needs to continue their development when the necessity for accessibility and affordability in addition to effectiveness, is at an all time high. From exploring cosmic consciousness with keynote speaker Phil Gang Snow to creating an effective environment for toddlers with Simone Davies to creating an anti bias environment with Britt Hawthorne to exploring executive functions with Laura Flores Shaw, the presenters dig deep into Montessori principles and translate them into practices at every level in Montessori.”
In 2019, Seemi Abdullah of Trillium Montessori and Tammy Oesting of ClassrooMechanics partnered to build Principles to Practice, a professional development organization with a mission of delivering real life practical strategies based on a framework of high fidelity Montessori principles. Their first experiment, a free webinar, “Got the Classroom Management Blues” reached over 3,000 Montessorians globally, showed they were on track providing valuable professional development that can be a game changer for those in the field of working with students at every level. Their response was to build two arms to the organization, a monthly membership launched in January 2020, whereby Early Childhood Montessori guides receive an hour of online professional development each month, and the Principles to Practice Summer Summit 2020, which is set to launch June 22-25, 2020.
Jaime Yeager of The Montessori Alliance of Tennessee stated, “The Montessori Alliance of Tennessee is canceling our annual September conference. We plan to offer virtual Language and Literacy trainings in October and November to help our Tennessee Montessorians fulfill their required 6 hours of professional development in this area. Additionally, we will be hosting an 8 week Saturday morning virtual series in January and February 2021 called “Caring for our Community” to further aid in educators meeting their professional development goals and to help connect people around the state.”