Making MJDS and Even Better School
At MJDS we know how important it is to provide our faculty with Professional Development opportunities so that they in turn can provide your children with an excellent education. Recently of us attended the CCMA (Canadian Council of Montessori Administrators) conference featuring two wonderful speakers: Amy Kelton and Dr. Marc Frankel.
Amy Kelton is the Assistant Head of Instruction for the Lower and Upper Elementary programs at The Shelton School and Evaluation Center in Dallas, TX. She presented two workshops; Helping At-Risk and Learning-Different Students in a Montessori Classroom, and Organizing the Disorganized Child. Here is what one teacher took away from her day with Amy Kelton.
One of my favourite parts of any Professional Development day is the atmosphere that is created when Montessori teachers from all over Ontario gather together to learn. We are a small community of dedicated people who love what we do, and love to talk about what we do and how we could be doing it better. It's an opportunity to reconnect and refocus your mind on what is most important, the children that we work with, and it is an added bonus to see people you may have trained with or have just gotten to know over the years. Not to mention time with our co-workers that we rarely get to have during the regular school day.
Amy Kelton was a wonderful speaker, she was exuberant and passionate about her school and her students, and she provided many tips that can be (and have been) implemented in the classroom immediately. She was funny and engaging and before I knew it the day was over and my mind was racing with ideas. She understood exactly what we as teachers are going through when working with a child who has a learning-difference such as ADHD, sensory issues or dyslexia. And, she had some ideas and strategies to share, as well as things to look for in children who may be at-risk for a learning difference.
One of my favourite things that she said was about the idea of fairness. When a child says, "That's not fair that so and so gets to ... and I don't!" she answers, "Fair doesn't mean equal, fair means getting what you need". Another great quote is "I'm sorry, I can only answer a question that's about you" and I have used this more than once since then. In a school with over 900 children from Casa through High School, all with learning differences, and 20+ years of experience at The Shelton School, Amy truly had an expert opinion and was happy to answer questions from the audience.
It was a great day at a beautiful location and I left with valuable information that will help me to better help my students. Thank you to CCMA, Regina and the MJDS Board Members who make it possible for us to attend conferences and workshops such as this one.
Sarah Doughty, Kita Gefen