by Anna Discenzo, Upper Elementary Teacher
In the Montessori community, Presidents’ Day weekend serves as a time to gather for the AMI-USA/AMI-EAA Annual Refresher Course (RC). Started in the early 1980s by a group of Elementary teachers, administrators and teachers of all levels gather at the RC to “refresh” subject areas from their training. Additionally, it is a time to gather with peers from all over the world.
This beloved event is an opportunity to shake off the winter doldrums and spend an intensive weekend learning and sharing ideas with friends. There are opportunities to visit the host city’s Montessori schools, see other Prepared Environments, and hear keynote addresses from experts like Dr. Ross Greene. Participants are also invited to engage in morning yoga, as a reminder that care for our bodies and minds is essential. There are also opportunities for social justice and action. Presented by Educateurs sans Frontières and the Racial Equity Action Table, 2022’s offerings included:
- Action requesting consideration for a Presidential Pardon for Human Rights Pioneer Marcus Garvey — Learn more about Marcus Garvey
- Educators Pledge to Teach the Truth — Zinn Education Project
- Donating care products to a local community — One Heart for Women and Children (Orlando)
Last year, our peers gathered in person in Orlando, FL and virtually from all over the world. This year’s refresher course will take place in Baltimore, Maryland. Thanks to the generous Faculty Education Fund, many of Arbor’s faculty are able to attend the refresher course each year. This invaluable support allows us to grow, fulfilling one of the Roles of the Adult in the Montessori classroom: being a lifelong learner. Some of our faculty have even presented at previous Refresher Courses, allowing them to share their expertise with others.
Arbor’s faculty also continues their growth through a variety of other trainings each year. Orton Gillingham training, DEI training, Montessori training, and other workshops enrich our work in the classroom and with our families.