Is the AMI Administrators course beneficial for Business Managers?

Q&A with Christine Shaw, Business Manager for Inner Sydney Montessori School (ISMS) in Sydney, Australia.

Q. Why did you decide to do the AMI School Administrators Certificate? 

Montessori schools are different from other school models, therefore I identified a need to undertake professional development, in the form of the Montessori Administrators Certificate, as an important step to ensuring I could better fulfil my role as a Business Manager of a Montessori School. 

Q. What was the key takeaway for you? 

This course is essential for anyone working in a Montessori environment in a leadership role who does not already have formal Montessori training credentials. 

Q. Were there any surprises for you in the course content? 

I was genuinely surprised by the rich history associated with Maria Montessori and her impact on education globally including the people who she influenced during her life and beyond. Understanding the extent to which one woman, particularly during the era in which she lived, could leave such an enormous legacy, which thrives to this day, was absolutely astounding. I found the course content links to and roots in science to be absolutely fascinating and a profound and undeniable endorsement of this pedagogy.  

Q. What was the most challenging aspect of the course? 

The certificate course workload is demanding and therefore juggling it with my work commitments was challenging, but it was without question, worthwhile. 

Q. What was the best aspect of the course? 

Gaining a deeper understanding of how an authentic Montessori School operates and thrives.  I learned about the Montessori prepared environment, the language of Montessori and the perspectives of our guides, assistants, students, and parents. This knowledge helps inform my day-to-day decision making.  The course also facilitates building connections with other Montessori School leaders creating an opportunity for ongoing collaboration and collegiality across Montessori Schools. 

Q. How are you applying what you learned from the course to your job?

The knowledge gained from the course helps me across all aspects of my job including strategy and operations. The course is particularly helpful from a marketing and communications perspective as the content covers parent education and how to deepen parents’ understanding of the value of a Montessori education; a critical aspect of enrolment conversion and retention. It has also sharpened my focus on the need to ensure all our staff have at least a basic understanding of Montessori and has caused us to think more intently about how we best provide adequate training to staff new to the Montessori practice. 

Q. Would you recommend this course for other professionals in the same position as you? 

Not only have I found the knowledge I gained from the course incredibly helpful and insightful for my day-to-day role, but also my colleagues have noticed the beneficial impacts too. In my experience, the knowledge gained from this course is not only tremendously beneficial but essential to assisting Business Managers effectively carry out their role within a Montessori school. 

Q. What other comments would you like to express regarding the AMI School Administrators Certificate? 

The course trainers, Bill Conway and Karen Bennetts were incredibly skilled, inspiring, professional, and demonstrated they are leading experts in Montessori education. Their presentation of the course content was thought provoking, motivating, creative, interactive, interesting, stimulating, and authentic.  

SMTC facilitated an expertly delivered certificate level course which proved to be a worthwhile, enjoyable, and rewarding experience. The experience from enrolment to course completion was seamless and well-managed from a student journey perspective.