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Opening Ceremony & Living Legacy Address: Joyce Pickering

Thursday, March 14 7:30 PM - 8:45 PM

Joyce PickeringOn Thursday evening, grab a bite to eat, then come join us for the AMS 2013 Annual Conference official kick-off event! You won't want to miss any of the festivities, including our opening ceremony and performances by local Montessori students. Greet friends old and new as we gather to welcome all attendees and listen to inspirational words from our 2013 Living Legacy, Dr. Joyce Pickering. After Joyce's keynote address, please stay to enjoy a dessert reception and congratulate her. It's the perfect beginning to 3 days filled to the brim with learning and networking -- and plenty of socializing with the greater Montessori community.

“To Touch a Child's Heart and Mind: The Gifts of Montessori for Students with Learning Differences”

The mindset of the effective educator is motivated to help all students to feel special and appreciated. We accomplish this by being empathic, by treating students in the same way that we would like to be treated, by finding a few moments to smile and make them feel comfortable, by teaching them in ways they can learn, by taking painstaking care to avoid any words or actions that might be accusatory, by lessening their fears of failure, by encouraging them, and recognizing their strengths.
—Robert Brooks, Ph.D.

Helping all children to learn and be successful in their education was Dr. Maria Montessori’s driving motivation. It was in working with the children at the Orthophrenic School of Rome—children who had been labeled “defective”—that she developed the principles of her educational method and created a new model for education.

Dr. Joyce Pickering’s AMS 2013 Living Legacy address will describe some of the ways in which Montessori can be applied to children who struggle in the preschool years or who have been identified with speech, language, and learning differences. Dr. Pickering will tell how her mentors’ gift of training in the Montessori method has allowed her to bring help and hope to those students who confront the most challenging obstacles.

About Joyce Pickering

Dr. Joyce S. Pickering is a 40-year Montessorian, speech and hearing pathologist, and learning disabilities specialist who has devoted her life to addressing the needs of students with learning differences.

Currently, Joyce is executive director emerita of Shelton School & Evaluation Center in Dallas, Texas, the world’s largest private school for children with learning differences.

Under her tenure as executive director (1990 – 2010), Shelton saw significant growth and development, including an expansion of the application of the Montessori philosophy and practice and, in 2009, the launching of the Shelton Montessori Teacher Education Center. Joyce also oversaw the creation of an outreach center that annually responds to more than 27,000 requests for information and resources, and the development of a unique collaboration between Shelton, the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, the University of Texas, and Dallas’s Center for Brain Health.

Joyce is an adjunct professor at Dallas Baptist University, a clinical assistant professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, and vice-president for accreditation of the International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council—as well as vice-president of AMS and an active member of several AMS committees. In her “spare time,” Joyce travels the world to present classes about Montessori education and how to meet the needs of learning-different students.

Gracious and soft-spoken, Joyce is loved by everyone in her wide circle of colleagues, friends, and family, which includes husband Robert Pickering, a former AMS president; 5 children; and 12 grandchildren.

You can leave your words of congratulations for Joyce on the Living Legacy page of our Web site.

The American Montessori Society is pleased to honor Joyce Pickering as our 2013 Living Legacy. This designation honors individuals whose exemplary achievements strengthen Montessori education and benefit the entire Montessori community.

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