Trainer in training: Emma Elegado-Kotulic

When and with which trainer did you do your original 0-3 training?

I did my original diploma training in 2005 with Judi Orion. I think it was only the second AMI 0-3 course to be run in Sydney and only the third in Australia.

How did you arrive at the decision to become an AMI trainer?

I had been working at Computer Associates. When that centre closed, I needed a new adventure. I was looking for new opportunities and wanted to continue on the Montessori path. I looked into it and knew this was the way I wanted to continue going. By that time, I was also at a point wherein I wanted to advocate Montessori education more and thought that I would be able to reach and help more children if I reached more adults to work with young children respectfully through Montessori.

What training are you currently delivering?

Right now, I am working on Sara Brady’s course in Sydney, which is being offered in a blended format.

When not delivering training, what other parts of the trainer role do you get involved with?

The requirements for those of us on the Training of Trainers program include assisting during training courses, but also include writing papers. The papers are not only a way for AMI to assess what we know, but are loosely the basis of what we will deliver in our lectures later. They are on defined topics, so that’s an ongoing part of our work. Otherwise, we are part of the bigger AMI community, so other training centres ask us to read albums, to help out. Also there is some administrative roles within the training course to help the trainers, such as helping with examinations. We also have to be a support for the students, so we also help organise observations. It’s a menagerie of different things.

What do you most enjoy about the training process?

At the moment, I enjoy meeting the people in the program. You get to meet different trainers. We have seminars in the Training of Trainers program over six blocks over the next couple of years, where we go with other 0-3 AMI trainers in training. I enjoy meeting them, all around the world, having lectures and seminars delivered by senior trainers on different topics. That’s the fun bit. We did it before lockdown. There are about 19 of us in the 0-3 Training of Trainers program and it’s nice to meet like-minded people, and to hear different ideas from different trainers, each has their own perspective. Their lectures are full of inspiration and experience. You learn so much from them. That‘s the part I look forward to the most.

What are some of the challenges you have faced in being a trainer in training?

It’s a big time commitment. That seminar and the travel, and writing the papers too, and then it’s balancing all of that with your home life and your regular work.

What are you most looking forward to in your training work throughout the next year?

What I enjoy most is the seminars, meeting other people. Being in the program brings you out of your comfort zone, so for me, you build experience to deliver some lectures in the diploma courses, even though you might be scared of it. That is new, you both look forward to it and also dread it.

What words of advice can you offer anyone considering studying for an AMI 0-3 Diploma?

The diploma course is a lot of work, so be prepared for it. Be determined and keep the end goal in sight. Think about what will come out from the training and how you will see yourself at the end. It’s a process like any diploma course. It’s designed to bring about an internal change in the way you see and do things. You may experience a spiritual change by the end of it. Keep in mind it’s all worth it.

What words of advice can you offer anyone considering applying for the AMI Training of Trainers program?

It is a lot of hard work, but it is very rewarding. It may not seem that way all the time, especially when you are drowning in the work, but it’s just like any endeavour. Just go for it!