Past Events

Free Webinar:

Intro to Montessori Elementary

Training: The Arts

Introduction to Montessori Elementary Training: The Arts, was an interactive online webinar including a LIVE Question/Answer period. Our panelist was Greg MacDonald.


Date: Tuesday, May 16th, 2017
Time: 5:00-6:00 PDT (Pacific Time)

We talked about:
  • The scope of the Montessori Elementary Arts Program for ages 6-12
  • The uniqueness of the program
  • What a Montessori elementary Arts lesson looks like
  • How the program is introduced to MISD elementary students

Free Webinar:

Primary (3-6) Q&A

View our free Primary Q&A webinar! Our panelist was Cristina De Leon, a beloved MISD teacher trainer with decades of Montessori experience and an abiding love for children, who answered participant questions!


Date: Tuesday, May 9th, 2017
Time: 5:00-6:00 PDT (Pacific Time)
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Topics included:
  • Observing the child objectively
  • Transitioning to/from other environments–  toddler, elementary, non-Montessori
  • Tips for supporting a child’s development of movement and language
  • Parent education
  • Bilingual immersion
  • How to become an AMI-certified Montessori educator for 3-6 years
  • And more!

View Recording

(registration required)


Free Webinar:

Birth to Six Q&A

Do you work with infants, toddlers, or young children? View our Birth to Six Q&A, a live webinar guided by particpants’ questions. Our panelists were Cristina De Leon and Alejandra Rosas, two MISD faculty with decades of Montessori experience and an abiding love for children.

Date: Tuesday, April 25th, 2017
Time: 5:00-6:00 Pacific Time

Topics included:
  • Toys? Why or why not
  • Ideal home environments for a newborn
  • Toilet learning (“potty training“)
  • What to wear: clothing for very young children
  • Tips for supporting a child’s development of movement and language
  • Observing the child objectively
  • Bilingual immersion
  • How to become an AMI-certified Montessori educator
  • And more!



(registration required)

Educación Montessori: 

Preguntas y Respuestas

Dra. Silvia C. Dubovoy


Si tienes ninos en tu vida y te gustaría aprender como crear ambientes simples pero profundamente efectivos que apoyen a los niños en alcanzar su maximo potencial, te invitamos a ver la grabación del último seminario que tuvimos con la Dra. Silvia Dubovoy llamado “Educación Montessori Preguntas y Repuestas”.

Dr. Silvia Dubovoy

Los temas a tartar fueron:

  • Juguetes?  Porqué si y porqué no
  • Ambiente del hogar ideal para el recién nacido
  • Control de esfínteres: aprender a usar el inodoro
  • Vestimenta: escoger ropa para bebes y niños
  • Observar al niño de manera objetiva
  • Educacion bilingüe 
  • Connexión entre Montessori y Funciones Ejecutivas
  • Consejos para apoyar a los niños en el desarrollo del movimiento y del lenguaje
  • Cómo llegar a ser un educador Montessori con certificación AMI.
  • Y mucho más!

Ver Grabación

Online Alumni Panels!

Learn about the MISD Training

experience and life after


This spring we held our first series of Online Alumni Panels!  MISD alumni from all over the world told their stories and answered participants’ questions.
  • Montessori educators— toddler, primary, lower & upper elementary
  • Filmmaker
  • Montessori school administrator
  • Owner of an online family consulting business 
  • School consultant– inclusive education 
  • Montessori teacher training administrator
  • Graduate school professor
  • Television producer
  • And more!


We talked to our panelists about…
  • Their background and what led them to discover Montessori
  • Their experience in AMI training at MISD
  • The Montessori job market
  • Their current projects and professions

Content is directly relevant to prospective students, but many others will find these panels of interest.

“Can I watch all three?”


There was a different selection of panelists with different insights into the training for each panel

Alumni panel #1

View panelist biographies (pdf)

View Recording

Alumni Panel #2

View panelist biographies (pdf)

View Recording

Alumni Panel #3

view panelist biographies (pdf)

View Recording

Free Webinar:

Infant and Toddler Q&A

Presenter: Alejandra Rosas
Date: March 28th, 2017
When: 5:00pm Pacific Time

View Recording

See Upcoming Events to learn what’s next in our popular webinar series

Free Webinar:

Primary (age 3-6) Q&A

Presenter: Dr. Silvia C. Dubovoy
Date: March 15th, 2017
When: 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time

View Recording

Free Webinar:

Introduction to Montessori

Elementary Training:

Physical Sciences

Date: March 8, 2017
Time: 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time

Greg MacDonald, Director of Elementary Training (ages 6-12) at the Montessori Institute of San Diego, guided webinar attendees through an overview of AMI Physical Sciences teacher training.

Inclusive Education Workshop

Friday, February 17th, 2017

Dr. Silvia Dubovoy

What:Inclusive Education Workshop with Dr. Silvia C. Dubovoy
Where: MISD Training Center
When: Friday, 2/17/17; 9:00am – 3:00pm (1 hr lunch break)
Cost: $175 per person
Lunch: Participants provided their own lunch
Professional Development: Certificates of Attendance for 5 hours of Continuing Professional Development for participants who RSVPed ahead of time

Download this flyer for more information: Inclusive Education Workshop

Free Webinar:

“Introduction to Montessori

Elementary Training –

Mathematics”, Greg MacDonald

Date: Tuesday, 1/31/17
Time: 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. Pacific Time

Greg MacDonald, Director of Elementary Training (ages 6-12) at the Montessori Institute of San Diego, guided attendees through an overview of AMI elementary teacher training with an emphasis on one of his favorite subjects–mathematics!

Free Webinar:

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017 at 5:00pm (Pacific Standard Time)

Infant/Toddler Q&A with Dr. Silvia C. Dubovoy, Alejandra Rosas

On January 10th, 2017, Dr. Silvia C. Dubovoy and Alejandra Rosas, held our first ever infant and toddler webinar guided by your questions! Five hundred participants from all over the world consulted our esteemed Assistants to Infancy instructors live!

Topics included:

  • Ideal home environments for a newborn
  • Toilet learning (“potty training”)
  • Tips for supporting a child’s development of movement and language
  • Bilingual immersion
  • How to become an AMI-certified Montessori educator for birth-3 years


“Neuroscience and Neuroimaging for Montessori Practitioners” by Dr. Nora McNamara

When: Friday, September 16th, 9am-noon
Where: The Montessori Institute of San Diego
Notes: This event was open to current MISD students only.

Dr. McNamara is a medical doctor who holds an M.D. as well as the AMI Elementary Diploma (she took the course with our own Greg MacDonald!). Her presentation included an introduction and overview of the last 70 years of neuroscience research for adults who work with parents, infants and toddlers, preschool aged children, latency (elementary) aged children, adolescents, and young adults, with a healthy bias towards birth-age 12. The presentation demonstrated to Montessori practitioners that their Theory albums are actually 100% in concordance with what neuroscientists are learning about neurotypical child brain development. It also taught participants how to read and interpret the fMRI and other neuroimaging studies that will continue to be published/released as part of the NIH Connectome project, financed by U.S. taxpayers over the past 8 years.


“Montessori 101”

Silvia C. Dubovoy, Ph.D.

children learning

From August 22-26, 2016, Dr. Silvia Dubovoy, one of the world’s leading experts in Montessori theory and practice, led the Montessori 101 workshop here at MISD. Montessori 101 was a chance for the public to join our foundational lecture series, which included topics such as:

  • Dr. Montessori’s Life and Work
  • Absorbent Mind & Sensitive Periods
  • Freedom & Discipline
  • Four Planes of Development
  • Development of Independence, Movement, & Language
  • Deviations & Normalization
  • Practical Life, Sensorial, Language, and Mathematics
  • Order & the Montessori environment
  • Observation


Free Webinar:

Elementary Q&A with Greg MacDonald

Greg MacDonald’s Montessori Elementary Q&A Webinar returned in August with some new questions! Topics included:

Questions from previous Q&A webinars and live questions from the audience:

  • Teaching a second language in the classroom
  • Too much time spent on crafts?
  • How do I know if a child is ready to transition to Elementary?
  • How can I increase the number of presentations I’m giving?
  • How to handle pressure to test the children
  • Is homework helpful? How do I get children to do it?
  • Is Montessori compatible with Common Core standards?
  • Recommendations for record keeping
  • Concerns about reading a mature novel to a 6-12 classroom
  • And many more!



Tuesday, May 17th, 2016 at 5:00pm (Pacific Standard Time)

Free Webinar:

Elementary Q&A with Greg MacDonald

Greg MacDonald’s Montessori Elementary Q&A Webinar returned in May with some new questions! Topics included:

  • Teaching a second language
  • Too much time spent on crafts?
  • How do I know if a child is ready to transition to Elementary?
  • How can I increase the number of presentations I am giving?
  • How to handle pressure to test the children
  • Is homework helpful? How do I get the children to do it?
  • Is Montessori compatible with the Common Core Standards?
  • Recommendations for record keeping
  • Concerns about reading a mature novel to a 6-12 classroom
  • And more!

This webinar was accessible online from anywhere in the world.


Wednesday, March 30th, 2016 at 5:00pm (Pacific Standard Time)

Free Webinar:

What is the AMI Inclusive Education Course?

On March 30th, 2016 at 5:00pm, Dr. Silvia Dubovoy shared an inside look at the upcoming Inclusive Education course!

The webinar covered:

  • Course Content and Schedule
  • Academic Requirements
  • Benefit to Schools
  • And much, much more!

At the end of the presentation, there was a lively Q&A with Dr. Dubovoy!

This webinar was accessible online from anywhere in the world.

Agenda 3.30

Free Webinar:

Wednesday, March 16th, 2016 at 5:00pm (Pacific Standard Time)

Elementary Q&A with Greg MacDonald

On March 16th, 2016 at 5:00pm Greg MacDonald, Director of Elementary Training, answered more of your questions, LIVE! The first Q&A was so popular that we brought it back for round 2 (see upcoming events for round 3)!

Topics included:

  • Teaching a second language
  • Test pressure
  • Classroom management skills
  • And much, much more!

This webinar was accessible online from anywhere in the world


Free Webinar:

Wednesday, February 24th, 2016 at 5:00pm (Pacific Standard Time)

Montessori Elementary Q&A with Greg MacDonald

On February 24th, Greg MacDonald, Directory of Elementary Training, answered your questions about Montessori at the Elementary level, live!

Topics of discussion included:

  • Classroom management skills
  • Homework
  • “Going Out” vs. Field Trips
  • And much, much more!

This webinar was accessible online from anywhere in the world!



Thursday, October 29th, 2015 @ 5:00pm (pacific time)

Free Webinar

Montessori and Neuroscience:

The Importance of the First Three Years of Life

On October 29th, 2015, Dr. Silvia C. Dubovoy, Director of Training at the Montessori Institute of San Diego, gave a FREE webinar on the importance of the first three years of life. Dr. Dubovoy’s comments were informed by recent discoveries in neuroscience and her long career as an international AMI Montessori teacher trainer.

This webinar was accessible online from anywhere in the world!

Wednesday, August 26th, 2015:

Learning Journals in the Montessori Elementary Classroom


Monday, June 8th, 2015:

The Top 5 Ways to Identify a Quality Montessori Elementary Classroom

Top 5 Ways to Indentify Quality Elem Class Agenda Sub

Webinar screen shot 6 8 15 webinar screenshop for cropping

Sunday, March 15th, 2015:

Art in the Montessori Classroom

Phyllis Pottish-Lewis

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Wednesday, March 4th, 2015:

WEBINAR: “How to Earn a High-Quality AMI Diploma in 9 Months”

Presented by: Dr. Silvia Dubovoy & Greg MacDonald

Silvia new headshot 2015Greg MacDonald 2

If you would like to hear a recording of the webinar in its entirety, click here!

Questions and Answers from our February and March webinars

Webinar agenda 1.30.15 (1)-page-001

November 20th, 2014:

Parent Education Night/Elementary Open House

Greg MacDonald


We were very excited to hold our parent education night and open house for the 2014-15 elementary classroom!

Throughout this informative evening, we covered some of the following topics:

  • What actually goes on in the Montessori elementary?
  • What on earth ARE those activities and materials my child keeps telling me about?
  • How do they work?
  • What does an elementary “lesson” look like?
  • What does a child’s work in the Montessori elementary look like?
  • How does all of this help my child?
  • Are you a parent of a primary child who wonders how the work they are doing now will prepare them for work in the elementary years?

Greg MacDonald, a longtime Montessori practitioner and Director of Elementary Training here at MISD, spoke about these and other aspects of the Montessori elementary program. Parents and other attendees saw, and had the opportunity to take part in, some Montessori elementary presentations. We hope they all gained a greater understanding of all that the Montessori elementary program has to offer.

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November 10th, 2014:

Music and Movement: A Workshop for Teachers

Sanford and Judy Jones

Sanford and Judy Jones

On Monday, November 10th, 2014, Sanford and Judy Jones presented a workshop for teachers and anyone interested in music education entitled, “Music and Movement”. This workshop was designed to help Montessori classroom teachers and assistants, as well as music and movement specialists, to implement a comprehensive and developmentally-based program of music and movement. The exercises and games are appropriate for children in preschool and early elementary grades.

With the increased emphasis technology in today’s world, music and movement are vital ingredients, not only to the wholeness of the developing child, but to the very preservation of culture through poetry, music, and movement. This workshop is designed to offer participants many ways to include music and movement every day in the classroom– with the whole class, small groups, and individuals. Topics included:

  • Listening: Ear-training including use of Montessori bells and tone bars
  • Movement: Parts of the body, locomotor steps, creative movement games, Brain Gym
  • Singing: Breathing, posture, focus, diction, dramatic expression, rounds, 2-part harmony
  • Percussion Instruments: Using percussion band instruments for rhythmic accompaniment
  • Music Appreciation: Classical keyboard music, stories of composers, points of interest


Sanford Jones

Sanford Jones is known internationally as a Montessori educator, lecturer and composer. He has made significant contributions to the Montessori movement, including the founding and directing of four schools on the East Coast. He was the founding president of the North American Montessori Teachers’ Association, and he is a former Executive Director of the Association Montessori Internationale-USA.

Mr. Jones, a native of Virginia, did his undergraduate work in music and history at Westminster Choir College, Rutgers University and Roanoke College. A piano and piano pedagogy student of Frances Clark, and a member of Westminster Choir under John Finley Williamson, he taught at Westminster Choir College and The New School for Music Study in Princeton, New Jersey. He is the composer of many songbooks for children and also has created a line of educational materials used in Montessori classrooms internationally.

His repertoire of thirteen children’s operas has been performed over 500 times. In 2012, he was presented with a “Wisdom of the Elders” award from the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education in recognition of a lifetime of dedicated service to Montessori education.

Judy Jones

Judy Jones began her performing career while still in high school, dancing in the Dallas State Fair musicals for two seasons. She then attended the University of Utah as a ballet major. In New York City, she danced for ten years in a number of Broadway musicals, including My Fair Lady, Hallelujah, Baby! and Do I Hear a Waltz? She was in the original cast of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, and she appeared in the movie, The Producers.

Ms. Jones owned and directed two dance studios in New Jersey. Later, she directed the Fine Arts Program for the Charles Towne Montessori School in Charleston, South Carolina and served as movement consultant/teacher for the Charles Ellis Montessori Academy in Savannah, Georgia. Judy is certified in the Laban/Bartenieff theory of movement and in Brain Gym Levels I and II of Educational Kinesiology. She holds a degree in Theatre from Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah.

More information on Sanford and Judy’s work can be found at

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November 9th, 2014:

Is Sending Your Child to a Montessori School Right for You?

Sanford Jones

Sanford, Judy and the MISD family

On November 9th, we were privileged to host a lecture by Sanford Jones, a sought-after Montessori teacher and consultant specializing in music education. The lecture was entitled, “Is Sending Your Child to a Montessori School Right for You?” We welcomed parents, Montessori teachers and administrators, and all others interested in the rationale behind sending children to Montessori school!


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October 19th, 2014:

Neuroscience and Montessori Education: A conversation with Dr. Adele Diamond and Dr. Silvia Dubovoy

Dr. Adele Diamond & Dr. Silvia Dubovoy


We were pleased to enjoy a spirited conversation between Dr. Adele Diamond, one of the leading researchers on executive functions, and Dr. Silvia Dubovoy, a world-renowned Montessori expert. Together, they combined their passions to address the question of how recent discoveries in neuroscience can inform the practice of Montessori teachers. Thanks to all of our guests for attending and making it a very successful and special evening! You can find a .PDF of her presentation here.

Dr. Diamond also recently gave an amazing Ted Talk, which you can view here:


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July 18th, 2014:

Stress and Resilience

Dr. Edith Eger


Dr. Edith Eger delivered a mesmerizing talk to nearly 200 aspiring teachers from 25 different countries who were studying this summer at the Montessori Institute of San Diego. Dr. Eger is a sought-after clinical psychologist and lecturer who uses her experience as a Holocaust survivor as a powerful analogy to help people discard their limitations and discover their powers of self-renewal. More information on Dr. Eger’s remarkable story can be found at


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March 9th, 2014:

The Relationship Between Cosmic Education and the Core Curriculum

Greg MacDonald


Over a century ago, Maria Montessori created a vision for the education of elementary-aged children and since that time, her vision has been brought to life in Montessori schools around the world. How does the Montessori approach to elementary education compare to the Common Core Standards? How should Common Core Domains, Cluster Objectives, and Standards be dealt with in a Montessori elementary classroom? Can Montessori education maintain its principles, yet at the same time ensure that children attending Montessori schools are proficient according to Common Core requirements? All of our lovely guests enjoyed this fascinating lecture from Greg MacDonald, one of the Montessori world’s premier elementary teacher trainers.


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April 22nd, 2013:

An Evening with Paula Polk Lillard

Paula Polk Lillard & Lynn Lillard Jessen


MISD was lucky enough to host a special evening with Paula Polk Lillard and her daughter, Lynn Lillard Jessen, on Monday, April 22nd, 2013 at the Montessori Institute of San Diego.

Paula is an internationally respected authority on Montessori theory and practice, and the author of four books, most notably the groundbreaking work, “Montessori: A Modern Approach“, a classic introduction to Montessori written in 1972 and still regarded as one of the clearest descriptions of the Montessori method available to this day. Paula taught in traditional public and private schools for eight years before discovering Montessori.

Now, more than fifty years later, after serving on the Board of Directors of the American Montessori Society (AMS) and the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) USA, co-founding and guiding the development of Forest Bluff School over several decades, and lecturing extensively across the globe, she is here with us to deliver the speech which earned her a standing ovation at the AMI Refresher Course last month: “Montessori and the Human Spirit.” In this inspiring talk, she reflected on how Montessori’s unique emphasis on the human spirit within each child makes possible the realization of human destiny.

Paula was followed by Lynn, who spoke on the subject of the book she co-authored with her mother: “Montessori from the Start,” a guide for helping the young child at home from birth on. Lynn’s talk explored the development of concentration and independence during the earliest stages of a child’s life and how those qualities are the necessary foundation for later character traits such as confidence, persistence, and authentic trust in oneself. She demonstrated how the attitudes that very young children form about themselves profoundly impact their eventual relationship with the world. These connections were illustrated through exclusive slides from Forest Bluff School, with a special series following the same child from birth to age two in his Montessori home environment.


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March 10th, 2013:

A talk on Special Needs: How to Value the Abilities, Skills and Strengths of all Children

Dr. Silvia Dubovoy

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All children are unique. And yet, some have exceptional differences that we cannot help but notice. Terms such as “special needs” put the focus squarely on these differences. However, the ultimate value of these children lies in the skills and talents they bring to the world, and it is the job of society to illumine and celebrate those abilities. If necessary, adults must provide specialized support to assist children on their journey to refine their natural gifts, with the emphasis always being on what the child can give of himself, not what he needs from others. Dr. Silvia Dubovoy highlighted this point through stories of outstanding individuals who have capitalized on their strengths and created fulfilling lives for themselves through meaningful service to humanity.



December 13th, 2012:

What We Can Do to Help Every Child Shine

Dr. Adele Diamond


Dr. Adele Diamond visited the Montessori Institute of San Diego for the first time in December 2012 to give a presentation entitled, “What We Can Do to Help Every Child Shine.”

Dr. Diamond is is one of the founders of the field of Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience and holds the Canada Research Chair Tier 1 Professorship in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of British Columbia. She is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. She is one of the world’s leading researchers on executive functions, the cognitive processes that enable us to plan, pay attention, solve problems, reason, and switch between tasks. Her research has been featured in NPR’s “On Being” with Krista Tippett, PBS’s “Scientific American Frontiers”, and The New York Times.-<p style=”font-fam


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