Montessori Teacher Educators Day

A Virtual Event: March 4, 2021

Our community needs you—the instructors and directors of AMS-affiliated teacher education programs—to continue to thrive in your essential role in training the Montessori teachers of tomorrow. With the demand for high-quality Montessori teachers continuously growing, it is more important than ever that AMS provide you with the information, inspiration, and organization you need to excel in your work.

Montessori Teacher Educators Day offers a full lineup of professional growth in a virtual format. We look forward to your joining us to connect with your peers and get to the heart of what it means to be a Montessori teacher educator.

This year, in deference to special circumstances related to the global pandemic, we are waiving the registration fee for all directors of AMS-affiliated teacher education programs.

When: Thursday, March 4, 2021
For: Instructors and directors of AMS-affiliated teacher education programs
Format: Virtual and On Demand
Registration: Closed February 25


All times listed below are in the Eastern Time Zone.

11:00 AM – 11:35 AM 

Welcome & TES Annual Meeting | Hilary Green & Gina Lofquist

11:45 PM – 12:45 PM 

Keynote Address: Character Strengths for Instructors’ Well-Being and Meaning in Life | Ryan M. Niemiec

1:00 PM – 1:45 PM 

Breakout Rooms: Incorporating Positive Psychology | Jill Segerman

2:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Montessori Philosophy and the Ethos of Your Teacher Education Program: How Will You Tell Your Story? | Charles Terranova & Biff Maier

3:00 PM – 3:50 PM 

Breakout Rooms: Getting to the Philosophical Core of Your Teacher Education Program | TEAC Members & Teacher Education Instructor Academy Instructors

3:50 PM – 4:00 PM 



Keynote Address

Character Strengths for Instructors’ Well-Being and Meaning in Life

Presented by: Ryan M. Niemiec 

In the last 15 years, the new science of character strengths and positive psychology has uncovered 24 cross-cultural, universally valued character strengths known as the VIA Classification of Character Strengths. The VIA Survey, a free tool that measures these strengths, has been taken by over 11 million people around the world. Research from over 700 studies in the past decade has found that identifying these strengths are a key ingredient of a life well-lived.

Join Ryan M. Niemiec, education director of the VIA Institute on Character, to learn the “what,” “why,” and “how” of character strengths. Discover ways to apply these core qualities within your personal and professional life, leading to higher adult learner impact. We will delve into key concepts, research, and practices with character strengths, engage in reflection and experiential activity. You will leave with essential tools you can begin using with your adult learners immediately.

Note: Before the session, please take the free, online VIA Survey of Strengths. Print or save your results so that you may have your rank-ordered strengths available for this presentation. 

Meet Ryan M. Niemiec

Ryan M. NiemiecRyan M. Niemiec, PsyD, is the education director of VIA Institute on Character, a nonprofit that leads the global advancement of the science of character strengths. He is a leading figure in the global education, research, and practice of character strengths. 

He has given over 900 presentations on positive psychology topics including a 2017 TEDx talk, a speaking tour of Australia, and a keynote at a Harvard conference. He is a Fellow of the International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA) and serves on their Council of Advisors. He is currently co-founder and president of the Spirituality/Meaning Division of IPPA.

Ryan is an award-winning psychology, certified coach, instructor at the University of Pennsylvania, guest faculty at 5 coaching and positive psychology agencies, author of 11 books, over 90 academic papers, and 100s of user-friendly articles. 

His books include: The Power of Character Strengths; The Strengths-Based Workbook for Stress Relief; The Positivity Workbook for Teens, and Positive Psychology at the Movies; Character Strengths Interventions; and Mindfulness and Character Strengths

Ryan lives in Cincinnati, OH, with his wife and 3 young, zestful children. His highest strengths are hope, love, honesty, fairness, spirituality, and appreciation of beauty.

Presenters & Facilitators

Gina Taliaferro Lofquist, MEd, is the AMS senior director of education & strategic initiatives. AMS-credentialed (Early Childhood).

Biff Maier, MEd, is the AMS 2021 Living Legacy, an annual award that recognizes individuals for the lasting impact they have made on the American Montessori Society community. He is director of faculty and curriculum development at Lexington Montessori School and co-director of the Montessori Elementary Teacher Training Collaborative, both in Lexington, MA. He is also lead Elementary I and Elementary II instructor and developer for the AMS Teacher Education Instructor Academy, and former chair of the Teachers Section of the AMS Board of Directors. AMS-credentialed (Early Childhood, Elementary I). AMI-credentialed (Elementary I–II).

Jill Segerman, PhD, is AMS lead online learning instructional designer. Prior to her work at AMS, she taught seminars on happiness at the university level.

Charles W. Terranova, Jr. is director of the Cambridge Montessori Institute in Cambridge, MA, and lead Early Childhood instructor and developer for the AMS Teacher Education Instructor Academy. AMS-credentialed (Elementary I – II). AMI-credentialed (Early Childhood).


Open now through February 25.


  • Directors of AMS-affiliated teacher education programs: Complimentary
  • All others: $50/registration

Montessori Teacher Educators Day sponsored by