Monday, November 16, 2009

It's Been a While...Conference Update

First, the International Montessori Conference was just great!

Loved hearing all of the speakers, attending the various sessions, and getting to meet and exchange ideas with so many people.

Tim Seldin's Keynote about being authentic Montessori was inspiring, as well as thought provoking.
His speech actually made me do some introspection about the notion of authenticity as a whole, instead of specific to Montessori.
Tim Seldin made me reflect on my years of classroom teaching, my family structure growing up as a child, and my immediate family (with Dear Hubby, Big Bro, and Little Bro).
I still feel the need to please but am working on trying to move forward to becoming more of an actualized person. Am still trying to learn how to balance wanting to have everyone like you and wanting to do what you believe is the right thing for you to do.

As far as the workshop sessions, if you ever have the chance to see or hear Dr. Daniel Jutras, I highly recommend it.

Dr. Daniel Jutras, or Daniel as he told us to call him, was so interesting.
If I would have been a student of his as a child, I may have actually grown up loving math.

He made the Constructive Triangles boxes come alive!
Waking up a passion to geometry is a tall order, seeing that it was one of my least favorite subjects in school.

Math actually was fun for the first time in my life!

Here is a bit about him from his website, the Canadian Montessori Institute:

"Dr. Daniel Jutras is the (Canadian) Institute's Director who for the last 20 years has prepared over 1000 Montessori teachers and tutored Montessori Courses and Workshops in Toronto, Qu├ębec, London England, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Poland and Singapore. Daniel Jutras holds a Ph.D. in Education from Ottawa U., an AMI diploma (3-6+) from Perugia, Italy (his Instructor and mentor was the late Antonietta Paolini who worked with Dr. Maria Montessori for 15 years), and a St.Nicholas Montessori Advanced diploma (6-12) from England."

What can I say but wow!

Such an nice demeanor, such a genuine love for children / learning / all things Montessori, very personable, so funny, he just makes you love learning!

It was like taking a workshop from Santa Claus!

Instead of unpacking toys, he unpacked his knowledge of the truest essence of Dr. Maria Montessori and her teachings: having a sincere respect, love, and appreciation for children.

I found him to be so much more relaxed than some others in the Montessori arena.

This was so refreshing, as sometimes, I do feel that some people get so caught up on having the perfect materials, doing the perfect presentations, etc. rather than truly following the child.

Perfection does not translate into following the child or fostering a love of learning in children.

So, here's to embracing a child's love of learning!

Here's to being authentic!

Here's to waking up joy for learning all of life's lessons.


Marsha said...

I wish I could have been there.
Thank you for giving us a glimpse of the conference.

Heidi said...

Amen! I agree 5,000 % with what you said in the last paragraph. There are some blogs I can't even read because I get caught up into the fact that I am doing some things "wrong" when in fact I am following the child and respecting the rhythms of our home and what works best for us.

I'm glad you had a good time! I have been waiting for you to come back and share! How was it being a homeschool mom there or did that not seem to matter?

The Sunshine Crew said...

As far as being a homeschooling mom, most everyone seemed to be fine with that. I had received a very nice email back from Tim Seldin when I had said that I wanted to come but wasn't sure, with now being a homeschooling mom instead of a classroom teacher. He made it quite clear that it is a very welcoming community.
Almost everyone was exceptionally welcoming. Only one of the companies seemed to highlight AGAIN and AGAIN that their materials had been specifically designed for classroom use. I felt like saying "Oh really, I thought that they were for use at a zoo" but didn't. This company lost my business though. I had planned on ordering some materials from this business and chose to instead order similar materials from another place.

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