Why Montessori Northwest?
by Dalia Avello & Katie Dunkirk
Choosing to pursue Montessori teacher training is a big decision, but following that is an even more crucial choice: where should I pursue my training?
Montessori Northwest is one of the most prestigious training centers in the world, and the staff has decades of experience preparing adults to become Montessori teachers. Those facts alone make the selection of choosing MNW easy for anyone interested in learning more about Montessori Education.
We are both planners, and neither of us makes major life decisions lightly. After researching many other programs, including those offered internationally, we both came to the same conclusion to study at MNW because it met all of our needs and offered the best opportunity to achieve our goals. Now that we are getting near to the end of our course, we are still confident in our decision.
MNW has a very unique combination of factors which make it stand out from other training centers. Our experience of pursuing the Primary Diploma in Montessori Education has been life-changing for us and our peers. The work has been consistent and rigorous, but even when large assignments are due, students greet each other with smiles and sit down to take more notes, watch more presentations, and practice until the day is over, united in our common goals and working every day to help each other learn. Being true to our personal styles, we made a list with the 5 reasons why we chose -and love- MNW as a training center.
5 Reasons We chose MNW for our training
1. The (Right) People
- Two well known international trainers, both with decades of experience in and outside the classroom, who are each regularly requested for conferences, refresher courses, consultancy and more
- A trainer-in-training with more than 15 years of classroom experience, in class every day with the students
- MNW’s entire team is trained in one or more of the certification levels: that means more access and support from people who know and understand the training process
- Opportunities to connect with trainers and students of all levels of training, at MNW
- A diverse class: classmates of different backgrounds, ages and nationalities create a rich classroom environment
- Large international Alumni Network to connect with
2. The (Appropriate) Place
- Building facilities are thoughtfully prepared for adult learners, offering a large lounge with personal lockers, comfortable restrooms, a private area for breastfeeding mothers, a spacious and well-lit classroom with a specialized workroom, free wifi throughout the whole building and other conveniences
- Access to multiple sets of Montessori classroom materials, providing the entire class a chance for hands-on practice everyday. Variety offers students the chance to form our own opinions about different materials and manufacturers
- Access to a well-stocked Montessori and childhood development library, and special prices on books which are on sale for students
- Excellent location within the city, with easy access to public transport, bicycle parking out front, and facilitation in acquiring parking permits for drivers
3. The (Intelligent) Method
- Training to become a Primary Teacher at MNW includes lectures about presentations which are always followed by practice
- MNW coordinates with a variety of wonderful schools to provide an ideal host school for each student’s observation and practice teaching. There are many hours of observation, spread throughout the year, before students have the opportunity to give lessons to children during practice teaching in the spring
- Curriculum is designed in a progressive way, and the workload is large but steady and very well-thought-out. The staff makes sure that students have had all the lessons and hundreds of hours of practice time before going into practice teaching
- MNW has many many years of experience training wonderful teachers, but they are also constantly looking for ways to enrich the learning experience. Students are encouraged to offer feedback to the trainers, and trainers meet with students one-on-one throughout the year, proving opportunities for communication.
- MNW provides access to Visas for international students
- MNW offers multiple locations for training (Oregon, Washington and California)
- MNW partners with universities to offer a chance to combine a Postgraduate Degree or Teaching License with your training
- Students are given many experiences to prepare them for the classroom, including: chances to create materials ready for classroom use, designing Parent Nights, visits from speakers, volunteer opportunities to connect with the Portland Montessori community, and a MNW job fair
- MNW follows the AMI tradition of each student making their own Teaching Albums for every subject, which are supplemented with theoretical and practical handouts thoughtfully prepared by trainers
4. The (Amazing) Location
- Portland has it all: it’s a big city with a small town feel, within its limits you can find almost anything you can possibly need, from gluten free restaurants to specialized breweries, from beautiful bridges to several farmers markets. Fantastic public transportation, beautiful landscapes, amazing neighborhoods and so much more
- Portland is also home to one of the largest Montessori Communities in the world, with dozens of wonderful schools for all age levels
5. The (Best) Result
- The choice to study at MNW isn’t just simply about deciding to train in Montessori. It’s about choosing to be trained and feel well-prepared to start your career in education. Montessori Training is an amazing opportunity, but is also an important decision that will most likely change your life and that of the children you will encounter. It feels great knowing you have made the best decision about where to learn.