MTCNE hosted 6 AMI Teacher Trainers in Training on campus this past summer.  It was a wonderfully busy time at Butterworth Hall with nearly 60 students, 6 Trainers in Training and 4 veteran Trainers at all three levels (A to I, Primary and Elementary).  Lisbeth Harrison, a current AMI Elementary Teacher Trainer in Training and Grace Lee, a current AMI Primary Teacher Trainer in Training have shared some thoughts about the program as they are experiencing it with support from MTCNE.  

Lisbeth states, “For me the whole experience of TOT has been about developing a greater depth of understanding about Maria Montessori’s work. But it is not a path taken solo. My journey has been so amazing because of the MTCNE team and guidance.”  

She credits her experience to the community of the Training Center which is located in Hartford’s historic west end.  Her presence as a TOT at the Training Center adds to our community and helps foster an environment of continued learning with practitioner development and a research focus.   Lisbeth shared that sitting the Elementary Diploma courses and talking to Gerry Leonard and Gretchen Hall, our resident Directors of Training, as well as interactions with Carla Foster, Elementary Trainer, and the other “incredible TOT people” is paramount to completing the Trainer in Training process.  These interactions provide her with insight and guidance as she continues her journey toward becoming an AMI Teacher Trainer.   

Lisbeth has also recognized the support provided to her as a TOT from Tamar Serrano “who holds down the fort in Butterworth Hall” and the leadership of Tim Nee and Paige Bray collaborating on workshops and projects that benefit the local and global Montessori community.  Lis ended her reflection with, “This process takes years and years to do and MTCNE has been there for me, supporting me, and encouraging me all along the way. I feel incredibly lucky to have MTCNE as my guide.”

Grace Lee shares personal insight about the AMI Teacher Trainer in Training process: “It’s exhilarating to be on the ‘other side’ of the training as a student again. My training was many years ago, so sitting through the course again brings back a lot of fond memories of when I was a student. It’s very easy to relate to the students since we were once in their shoes submitting albums and practicing in the environment. I am also learning new insights around the history of the materials and presentations, which is fascinating. Lastly, it’s truly refreshing as there are several following exercises and extensions to presentations that I had forgotten. We are also lifelong learners!”

When asked how she came to MTCNE as an AMI Teacher Trainer, Grace reports, “I still recall the day that Gretchen called to ask if I would be interested in being a ToT at MTCNE.  I was honored, excited, and nervous.  I ultimately moved forward in participating at MTCNE for several reasons: 1) The summer courses allow me to keep working during the academic year and train for several weeks over the summer. 2) MTCNE provides a stipend that tremendously helps to offset costs and provide income while training. Personally, this was a game changer in why I ultimately decided to be a ToT at MTCNE and I am forever grateful for this opportunity. 3) Gretchen was another major reason I decided to join MTCNE. As most of my classroom experience stems from the DC Public School System, I was excited that Gretchen also had extensive background in working with public schools and understanding their unique culture and systems. Public Montessori schools are only increasing (which is wonderful!), so having a trainer who can speak to and support future guides in how to maintain fidelity to Montessori while navigating the public system is amazing!”

Reflecting on being part of the MTCNE community as a Trainer in Training, Grace states, “It’s amazing to know that there is a full cohort of ToT’s across all the levels in Butterworth Hall. The relationships and connections you make with the fellow ToT’s is amazing. Having access to trainers and fellow students across the levels at one training center is so unique and allows for tremendous opportunities to connect with so many others.”

Have you ever considered becoming an AMI Teacher Trainer?  You can learn more about the AMI program for training future Teacher Trainers here.  Stipend available to qualified individuals at MTCNE.  If you are considering becoming an AMI Teacher Trainer with MTCNE, inquire here.