Professional Development

MNW creates professional development programs to invigorate teachers' classroom practice and strengthen school communities. We offer workshops for teachers at all levels, as well as customized on-site programs tailored to your school's needs. 


We are always in the process of creating some new and exciting workshops for our community. If you have any comments about previous workshops or if you would like to make a suggestion please let us know!


September 18, 2014 

Pints of Interest is your chance to informally come together and connect with others in the Portland Montessori community; discussing some of the most relevant topics of our craft. You are invited to catch up with friends and make new connections. Pints of Interest is a great venue to talk with others and share what's working in your classrooms, ask/give input, and think about “big picture” ideas. The topics for the evening will be pre-announced and appropriate for all Montessorians working at all levels.  

Your host for the evening, Braden Pemberton, will loosely facilitate the conversation. Braden holds both his primary and elementary AMI diplomas from Montessori Northwest. Currently he is the director of community education at MNW. When not facilitating he likes to play board games, collect vinyl, and cook.

Come out, order a pint, and plug in--We'll see you there!

When:  Thursday, September 18, 2014
Where:  rontoms 600 E Burnside, Portland, OR
Time:  Socializing begins @ 4:30pm, discussion goes from 5-6:30pm.
Who:  Open to Montessori teachers at all levels
Cost:  Free

Future Pints of Interest: Wednesday, November 12, 2014 and Tuesday, April 21, 2015. Venues and facilitators TBD.


September 25, 2014 

"A child is mysterious and powerful and contains within himself the secret of human life.”    -Maria Montessori

Montessori schools now have an unprecedented opportunity to serve an even wider swath of children with an ever-expanding range of abilities. We are revisiting the Montessori materials and practices with these special children in mind.

“Helping Hands” is designed to bring together Montessori educators and special education professionals to discuss strategies and ideas for supporting children with special needs.  These informal discussions will help participants create a network with each another, and use our combined expertise to strategize effective modifications that work within a Montessori structure, in order to set reasonable goals and evaluate interventions.

Facilitating the discussion will be Sarah Werner Andrews, Director of Primary Training at Montessori Northwest; Dave Andrews, speech-language pathologist, and supervisor for David Douglas Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education Program;  and Tim Andrews, special education teacher and Positive Behavior Intervention and Support Specialist.

When:  Thursday, September 25, 2014
Where:  Montessori Northwest 622 SE Grand Ave, Portland, OR
Time:  4:30-6:00pm – Light refreshments provided
Who:  Open to All
Cost:  Free

Please RSVP to MNW Community Outreach Director, Braden Pemberton, at 503.963.8992 or

Click here to view and print a flyer for this event.


September 27, 2014 

If you have ever admired a teacher-made material in the Elementary environment, then you’ve probably been admiring Gloria’s work. Gloria Singh, having been a guide at both the Elementary and Toddler levels, has had lots of experience making beautiful materials for her classrooms. By providing time & space to focus on material making, we want to help you make your classroom even more beautiful.

In this first workshop, Gloria will be offering her expertise with the Body Functions of Vertebrates material, also known as the 5 Classes of Vertebrate nomenclature. Gloria will have all the materials prepared & printed; all you have to do is show up! When our time is done, you’ll walk away with a brand new material, ready to be laminated! 

Connect with other guides, share tips you’ve learned, and have fun while working to elevate your classroom community. All skill levels are welcome from pros to first-year teachers. Let’s make something together!

When:  Saturday, September 27, 2014 (registration closes 9/19)
Where:  Montessori Northwest 622 SE Grand Ave, Portland, OR
Time:   9am – 1pm
Who:  Elementary Teachers & Assistants
Cost:  $50 fee – covers registration and materials

Future Material Making Workshops: October (verb packets) & January (fraction charts). Dates and Times TBD.

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Primary Workshop   October 10-12, 2014   download a flyerdownload a printable registration form

Normalization is a key element of Montessori theory for successful early childhood education. Montessori’s writings indicate that we do not need normalized children to do our work. Instead, our work is to help children achieve normalization. She identifies normalization as ‘the most important single result of our whole work’ – the result that makes all other personal, social, and academic achievements possible; and she assures us that if we understand how to ‘normalize the conditions’, then joyful engagement, spontaneous concentration, self-discipline, literacy, and practical mathematics are within the potential of every child, and social cohesion is within the potential of every group.

In this weekend workshop, we will explore Montessori’s theory of normalization in relation to the materials and activities found in a Montessori 3-6 classroom: how to first offer motives for concentrated activity leading to normalization and then turn this point of arrival into a point of departure through the materials for development in Sensorial, Language, and Mathematics.  Observation, friendliness with error, and indirect preparation will give further focus to this exploration across all of the areas and all of the ages in the Children’s House environment.

Intended Audience

Primary Teachers and Assistants


Friday, October 10, 2014 6-9PM

Saturday, October 11, 2014 8:30AM-4PM

Sunday, October 12, 2014 9AM-12PM


$250 Early Bird Discount (before Sept 26th) / $285 full price (On or After Sept 26th)

10% discount for schools registering 3 or more attendees - Lunch included

download a flyer here      download a printable registration form here       housing and travel information here

Registration Online Here:
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Elementary Workshop   October 10-12, 2014   download a flyer download a printable registration form

Montessori elementary children explore the legacy and creative power of language.  Montessori adults, too, can learn much from an in-depth investigation of stories and the roles they play in development and in the transmission of culture. The stories we tell the children as a framework for Cosmic Education, the stories the children tell us, in their journals and in our conferences with them, and the stories we tell each other in our class meetings or gatherings: All contribute greatly to shaping the Montessori elementary experience, and contribute to optimal development for the children.   

In this weekend workshop, we will examine the Great Stories (including the Great River, from the Bergamo tradition) in terms of how they contribute to children’s intellectual and emotional well-being. Participants will also explore practical ways to start and sustain the children’s journals and individual conferences, and to help the children develop these Tools of Responsibility in accordance with their growing independence and self-awareness. The workshop will conclude with a focus on how to implement a developmentally appropriate class meeting that meets the children’s social needs and empowers them as citizens in the “practice society” of the Montessori elementary community.

Intended Audience

Elementary Teachers and Assistants 


Friday, October 10, 2014 6-9PM

Saturday, October 11, 2014 8:30AM-4PM

Sunday, October 12, 2014 9AM-12PM


$250 Early Bird Discount (before Sept 26th) / $285 full price (On or After Sept 26th)

10% discount for schools registering 3 or more attendees - Lunch included

download a flyer here     download a printable registration form here     housing and travel information here

Registration Online Here:
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Did you miss one of our amazing workshops? Consider our Montessori-to-Go! program for customized events, delivered by our AMI trainers, at your school. To learn more about Montessori-to-Go!, click here.



AMI Assistants Course

This course is an ideal foundation for assistants at every level, administrators, parents, educators, and anyone interested in a general overview of Montessori Education. This training course will emphasize Montessori theory and principles, rather than specific classroom practices. The course helps interested adults understand the importance of their role as well as the developments that take place in young children. 

Click here to view the most recent Assistants Course flyer.



Elementary Workshop

The elementary learning journal (or diary, or record book) is one of the three "Tools of Responsibility" introduced on AMI elementary teacher trainings.  Each elementary child is expected to keep a record of his or her work. But the learning journal, thoughtfully implemented, is much more than a branch of record keeping. This workshop will introduce to participants how to turn this Montessori tradition into a lively, integrated part of every child's elementary experience.  

Click here to read more about this subject.     Click here to view the workshop flyer. 



Open Workshop

It is well documented that children typically develop their reading skills between the ages of 4 and 8. Reading bridges both Primary and Elementary, and Montessori educators meet children where they are. The goal of “Total Reading” – reading comprehension, appreciation of style, and understanding of emotional content is both an achievement and a launching point for children in the first and second planes. This workshop explores playful and rich supports to Total Reading that will give every child the foundation for a lifetime of literacy.