Putting Theory into Practice: Noosa Montessori’s Adolescent Program

Richard Wallace, Noosa Montessori, Australia

By Richard Wallace
Principal, Noosa Montessori

I had been looking for a way to improve my understanding of the Montessori Adolescent Program for a few years; well, since Montessori Noosa began in 2017. With the demands of running a school: managing staff, dealing with COVID-19 mandates and all the wonderful things that come with being a new principal, in a new school, it was difficult to find the time and opportunity to study. 

When I came across the AMI Montessori Introduction to Adolescents course at Sydney Montessori Training Centre with Laurie Ewert-Krocker, it seemed that the right opportunity had come across my path. I enrolled to the course as did another member of my staff despite being busier than ever. Nonetheless, when it came time to begin, I was more than just a little excited as it had been quite a while since I’ve used my mind for something other than managing a school. The part of this course that worked so well, was that it felt like it was designed for someone who was busy like me. Sure, there was work to do and a definite time commitment, but it did allow me to easily transition from my busy day into a learning headspace. I think this was because of the delivery method. I found it very easy to Laurie on the videos as she made it easy to grasp big concepts. However, the part that made it really work was the opportunity to discuss the content with participants from around the world in the weekly live Zoom sessions. It was strangely wonderful to learn that the issues I was dealing with were the same everywhere, as were the solutions. Discussing Laurie’s content made me feel part of a wider community whilst also consolidating my learning from the course. 

At the time of the course, we were questioning the viability of our Adolescent Program. So, completing the course during the time we were developing a marketing campaign worked wonders in helping us explain the finer points of the Montessori philosophy and present our program to potential new families as one of many such programs worldwide. One of our Cycle three parents who attended the session took the noted presentation in the picture (see featured image), and it was a great way to get our younger students excited about the program.

The benefits of staff taking the introduction to adolescents course are already very obvious at the school. In practical terms, it has helped in the process of increasing students and improving planning. When making decisions about our adolescent program, we often refer to concepts presented by Laurie. Given the delicate position our program was in earlier in the year, completing the AMI Montessori Introduction to Adolescents Certificate helped renew my commitment to the value of the Montessori Adolescent Program and press on toward all the rewards the program can deliver.  

* The next AMI Montessori Introduction to Adolescents Certificate at SMTC is yet to be confirmed. For those wanting a more in-depth adolescent course, the AMI Montessori 12-18 Diploma will be commencing on 27 August 2022.