LEAD MONTESSORI CONFERENCE
The Story of The Lead Montessori Conference, by Mirka Vlckova (MV) and Peter Davidson (PD)
Over the years, since I (MV) first established the Montessori School Andilek and the Montessori Institute Prague in the Czech Republic, I found out that being a Montessori leader can often be a lonely job. No one else in the organization has as broad a perspective nor feels quite the same sense of accountability. No one else truly understands.
At the same time, through my work at the Institute, I discovered that there are many other people in similar roles who feel that same loneliness, the solitude that comes with final responsibility. It turned out that some of these people live in my own country, while others live in Europe, but many more live in all of the corners of the world. These people fight the same fight as me, share the same values as me, and serve the same cause.
I found it very encouraging, energizing and nourishing to spend time with them - talking, exchanging information, learning from each other. I realized the great value of standing together, sharing experiences and best practices, belonging to a community of people who are “walking in the same shoes".
And just as I began to think about how to turn this realization into something that may help others, I met three people who had walked this path before me and who felt called to support this venture - Kathy Minardi, Sue Pritzker and Peter Davidson.
From the left: Peter Davidson, Kathy Minardi, Sue Pritzker and Mirka Vlčková
These people, with their deep well of knowledge and experience, their strong character and wonderful sense of humor, joined me in founding Lead Montessori. We discovered that we each had unique skills and background to offer, and together created the first two conference programs. If you want to learn more about Lead Montessori 2018 and 2019, go here.
As the pandemic spread and school leaders faced unprecedented challenges, and as people all over the world arose and embraced a renewed sense of racial and ethnic justice and equality, we knew that Lead Montessori needed to change and respond, to expand its offerings and its reach. Starting in March we put on fifteen free online weekly Community Conversations as a “space for inspiration, hope, contribution and joy.” Esteemed speakers volunteered their thoughts on everything from “Leading in a Time of Crisis” to “Waking Up to Injustice and Stepping Up to Social Reform.” Each week Montessori leaders, parents, teachers and trainers joined us from all over the globe for timely topics, for support, and for a profound sense of community.
As we look toward continued uncertainty, Lead Montessori will continue to evolve to meet your changing needs, whether with continued Community Conversations, our fall worldwide online conference, or other means and venues that have yet to be invented. If you would like to join us in this work, we will be very glad to include you in the Lead Montessori community we have built. We will nourish you. You will learn new hard and soft skills. We will help you to assume and practice your role as a Montessori leader. We will help you run your school and we will become your friends. We will support you in your work of building a strong Montessori program and a better world.
The Lead Montessori 2021 Conference Team
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