Montessori Education During COVID-19
As Montessori guides, we are tasked with adaptation and innovation every day. Through this unprecedented time, AMS is committed to helping you by providing resources that we hope will help you adapt and innovate. Browse articles and videos about looking ahead to a post-pandemic world, the technology we teach with, and more. We are adding items on an ongoing basis, so please bookmark this page and continue to check in.
A Message from Our Executive Director
As a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, AMS launched a health and wellness initiative designed to spark thoughtful reflections surrounding healthy habits, build strong relationships, and maintain joy in the face of adversity. Find resources to support your healthy habits, or submit your own.
- Answering the Big Questions for Education Leaders. This article from Edutopia focuses on 3 key areas for schools to consider when reopening: equity, staff, and students and families. Includes conversation around curriculum, communication, and coronavirus-related trauma.
- Cleaning and Disinfecting Tips. CDC guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting soft surfaces, electronics, linens, and outdoor areas. Information on what to do if someone is sick, considerations for employees, and alternative disinfection methods.
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance for Schools. In-depth and regularly updated information from the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) about federal guidelines, risk management, employee considerations, and more.
- Guidance for Open Childcare Programs. Preparedness and planning guidelines from the CDC for childcare facilities. Includes information on social distancing strategies, modified pick-up and drop-off procedures, cleaning protocols, and hygiene best practices.
- The Montessori Public Policy Initiative (MPPI) has compiled resources for educators and families that are grappling with the impact of COVID-19. Visit their site to find state-by-state policy information, paid sick leave and Family and Medical Leave updates, advocacy tools, and more. Updates are ongoing.
- The National Center for Montessori in the Public Sector (NCMPS) has curated a set of school closure information kits related to government and policy, Montessori at home, and online experiences for students.
- The New York Times. So that high school students and teachers in the United States have access to information that helps them understand what is happening during these times of upheaval, the digital edition of the New York Times will remain freely available to them through September 1, 2021. Added 3/19/21.
- Reimagining the Future For Every Child. This letter by the executive director of UNICEF outlines 5 opportunities for children revealed by the coronavirus pandemic and other social issues that we must seize now. Added 3/17/21.
- The Return to School Roadmap. Developed by Opportunity Labs, this guide helps schools focus their returning-to-school plan across 7 workflows: governance, wellness, instruction, post-secondary, facilities, school operations, and technology.
- Summer of Play This article from The Guardian shares guidance from child development experts in the United Kingdom who encourage a “summer of play” for children, rather than a rush to “catch up.” Added 3/17/21.
- USDA Extends Free Meals to Children through Summer 2021 The U.S. Department of Agriculture will allow children to continue to access free meals through September 30, 2021 due to the pandemic. Added 3/17/21.
- Venable LLP outlines key handbook updates for the 2021 – 2022 school year including the confirmation of health and safety policies and the development of anti-bias statements. Added 6/01/21.
- When Will Children Get the Vaccine? Three major pharmaceutical companies have started COVID-19 trials in children. Added 3/17/21.
Communicating with Parents
- Communicating with Parents [VIDEO]. Join Andrea O’Brian, assistant head of school at Princeton Montessori School (Princeton, NJ), for a conversation around how to best work with Montessori families. Includes suggested favorite applications and communication techniques.
- Communication Ideas [VIDEO]. Hear from Beth Yoke of the Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library and Chris McGilvery of the Leaders Readers Network to learn how you can implement communication best practices into your learning plans and effectively communicate with your families and networks.
- “Learning from Home Handbook.” Generously shared with us by the Montessori School of Tokyo, this handbook is available for you to customize for your school and distribute to your parents. Adding photos and your school logo will help bring it to life. All editing can be done in Adobe.
- Parent Stories [VIDEOS]. In this 3-part video series, Montessori parents discuss the challenges and small victories they have been experiencing during the pandemic. View Part 2 here. View Part 3 here.
- Teacher Parent Communication Worksheet. Use this editable document for planning a strategy for communicating with parents at your school. See a completed example.
Using Technology to Teach
- Audible Stories. Free audiobooks for small children and teens for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Fast Facts for Effective Online Videos [PDF] Learn how to film clear and organized lessons for your online learning needs from an expert video producer.
- How to Create a Video. Learn about making videos to support student learning. You’ll get tips on personalizing your video, crafting engaging content, and setting yourself up for success in recording.
- Using Technology Efficiently [VIDEO]. Learn how to use technology as an asset, rather than viewing it as a stressor. Tips from Jill Segerman, lead online learning instructional designer at AMS.
- Environmental Education Program. Visit the Environmental Education playlist featuring 5 videos co-produced by AMS and Nature’s Classroom Montessori School in Mukwonago, WI. These lessons are built around the Early Childhood curriculum but will delight all ages.
- National Emergency Library. Over 1.4 million books are now available through this digital library. Sign up for a free account (from anywhere in the world) and get reading!
Montessori at Home
- 100 Ideas for Montessori Early Childhood Students at Home (courtesy of St. Joseph Montessori School faculty).
- 100 Ideas for Montessori Elementary Students at Home (courtesy of teacher Michelle Jacob).
- Montessori at Home. Parents can find plentiful ideas for bringing Montessori principles into the home. Topics include getting organized, simplifying the environment, and activities for engaging with children of different ages (birth – 18).
Care of Self
- Care of Self Video Playlist. Self-care videos created by AMS that focus on childcare, nature therapy, and more. We encourage you to bookmark this page and subscribe for updates about future videos.
- How to Practice Self-Care When You Return to School. Practical mindfulness tips for students, educators, and families transitioning to in-person learning (or experiencing any other major life change). Added 5/11/21.
- Managing COVID-19 Anxiety and Stress The CDC offers guidance for coping with added stress and anxiety related to coronavirus.
- The National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement provides resources for COVID-19 including sample scripts for educators returning to in-person classes, guides for supporting grieving students, and videos for families and educators dealing with loss. Added 5/11/21.
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AMS Member Resources
AMS Connect Message Board
Join your peers on our online messaging platform to read about and discuss plans and resources for the. We especially direct you to the Heads of Schools Community and the Teachers Communities, where we have shared an editable spreadsheet that allows you to directly add your favorite technology resources so that others may use and benefit from them. Member login required. (Use the same username and password you use when logging in to the main AMS website.)
AMS Connect Live! Online Events
We are pleased to offer AMS Connect Live! sessions, exclusively for AMS members. Led by director of learning & professional development, Joshua Shanklin, and other veteran teachers, these groups are created to provide our Montessori community with facilitated conversation around the changing COVID-19 environment.
Groups are organized by program level and meet monthly. Learn more, mark your calendar, and register for the sessions here.