At the 2013 AMI Refresher Course, AMI-USA previewed a video for a project called Montessori Guide—a professional development tool using “real footage of real classrooms and original articles to support best practices inside Montessori environments for trainees, teachers and administrators.”
The project is still in the works, and it’s not clear exactly what it will be. The video itself is outstanding. A screenshot shows a website with articles on subjects such as Socialization and Cosmic Education, and the AMI-USA page mentions video and articles and the guidance of AMI teacher trainers. We’ll have to wait and see the site when it launches later this year.
But the video is up now, and it stands on its own. The bouncy, whistling soundtrack with acoustic guitar and handclaps sets just the right casual, optimistic tone. There are some titles. “A Fresh Take on Montessori” is a little odd—do we need a fresh take?—but the video certainly feels fresh. “Diverse Children—Diverse Teachers—Diverse Settings” is also a little oblique—is diversity our hallmark?—and “Standardized Practice” doesn’t quite have the Montessori magic, but these are quibbles. (And “Delving Deeper Into Our Practice” is spot on.)
But he magic tis in the classroom footage. It’s all there—beautiful, light, open classrooms full of purposeful, determined, adorable focused children, great moments of peer learning, individual work, big work, joy, cleaning up a spill, and carrying a turtle. Everything you think of as Montessori, in other words.
As an administrator, I would use it at every parent night and recruitment event I could get away with. Just press play, sit back, and watch the jaws drop and the smiles spread. Then have questions and a “share something you liked” session. Then play it again, starting and stopping. Concentration. Repetition. Independence. Liberty. Social learning. It’s all there.
I’m really looking forward to seeing the whole site.