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Professional Development Customized for Your Staff

Online professional development

Staff professional development can be expensive. Especially during a pandemic, schools don’t have the option to send their teachers, administrators, or boards off to conferences or retreat centers for renewal and inspiration.

The Montessori Foundation offers the convenience of online professional development. With modern internet communications, more and more schools are finding that live, two-way video conferencing provides the least expensive way to have someone from our teamwork with your teachers, staff, parents, and/or board.

Your staff can participate together in one room or from up to 500 different locations. We will be able to see and hear each other.

We record all sessions, from start to finish, and post them securely online where you and your team can replay them.

The Montessori Foundation’s nationally renowned Montessori consultants and coaches are experts in bringing these services to your school as workshops, weekend retreats, or live two-way video conferences at a fraction of the cost.

Our senior Montessori consultants and coaches include: Michael Dorer • Paul Epstein • Robin Howe • Andrew Kutt • Christine Lowry • Kathy Leitch • Lorna McGrath • Tanya Ryskind • Tim Seldin • Jonathan Wolff.

Our programs and services are customized for your goals. We specifically design them for your school’s needs!

Give your teachers a ‘PREP or PEP’ talk at any point in the year.

The Montessori Foundation can provide your staff with certificates of professional development.


Planning Your School’s Future when Nothing is Certain: Adapting to Different Scenarios

Navigating Difficult Conversations with Parents

Rebuilding Community among Your Children, Parents, and Staff

Building Positive Relations With Parents Early and Often

The Power and Process of School Community Meetings

How to Identify and Respond to Challenging Behaviors as Children Return to In-Class Learning

Practical Life as the Path Back to Normalization in the Age of Covid

Putting the Life Back into Practical Life

10 Characteristics of Effective Montessori Teaching Teams

Classroom Leadership in the Era of Covid-19: Addressing Children’s Trauma, Stress, and Loss

Helping Your Teachers to Be Emotionally Ready for the Uncertainties of this School Year: Fostering Resilience

Getting Your Classroom “Normalized” Earlier in the School Year

Classroom Management That Fosters Self-Directed Learning, Confidence, Higher Order Thinking, and a Collaborative Classroom Community

20 Keys to Helping Students Stay Engaged During and After Lessons.

Moving Toward More Self-Directed Work Planning

SMART Observation Practices: How to Learn More in Less Time

The Three Spheres of the Prepared Environment – Beyond the Materials, Addressing How Teacher Mindfulness and Manners Affect Students

Surviving the Conversations with Parents You Hate to Have

Staying Happy, Healthy, Organized for the Whole School Year

Improving Concentration, Precision, Accuracy, and Work Completion

Is There a Place for Humor and Playfulness in the Montessori Classroom, Especially During a Pandemic?

Storytelling! Excite Imagination and Engagement in a Time of Online, Blended, and Modified Learning

Make the Great Lessons Come Alive!

The Cosmic Curriculum

Bringing Grammar to Life

Elementary Physical Geography

Developing Strong Montessori Adolescent Programs

The New Imperative in Parent Relations: Keeping the Engaged and Onboard

Why Today’s Families Need Parenting Education & Coaching More than Ever and How Schools Can Provide It

Financial Planning and Emergency Fundraising

Parent Education Topics For Parent Education

The True Outcomes of a Montessori Education

How to Raise an Amazing Child: The Montessori Way at Home

The Parenting Puzzle

Yes, You Can Teach It All in Montessori Elementary

And so much more…

Tangible Results

During difficult times, for start-up help, or for faculty/administrator rejuvenation, schools turn to The Montessori Foundation for help because we provide tangible results.

From our experiences working with hundreds of Montessori schools, we can offer solutions to your challenges and identify new opportunities.

As a result of working together, schools enjoy a renewed sense of security, confidence, and support from their families and staff. The schools with which we work discover new ways to increase income and contributions and decrease expenses without compromising the integrity of their Montessori programs.

We are backed by an extensive team of experts in every field of Montessori school leadership from the Montessori Foundation staff and beyond.

Customized for Your School:


We will work together to better understand the specific needs of your teachers.

We will record the live workshop for you to share with your teachers.


Workshop Fees:

1-hour workshop: $300

1-½ hour workshop: $450 More interactive (includes practice exercises)

2-hour workshop: $600 More interactive (includes assessment and practice exercises)

3-hour workshop: $900 Most interactive (includes assessment, practice, and personal action planning exercises)

We offer longer, multi-session, short courses, or ongoing coaching too!

School Consultation Team

Contact Info:
651-353-2109 / 800-655-5843

Michael Dorer, PhD

Michael is a Montessori teacher educator, consultant, speaker, author, and storyteller. Michael has nearly fifty years of Montessori experience with Primary (Children’s House), elementary and adult Montessori education.

Michael began his Montessori career in public Montessori aimed at children in poverty. He has gone on to work in a variety of settings, including both public and independent schools, as well as at the college and university level.

Michael’s broad background includes Bachelors and Masters degrees in education as well as Specialist and Doctoral degrees in Instructional Leadership. He is public-school licensed in elementary education, nursery school, and Kindergarten. His Montessori credentials include a 3-6 and 6-9 Diploma from AMS and a 6-12 AMI elementary diploma earned in Bergamo, Italy.

Michael has also spent more than 25 years working with Montessori adults, as a teacher trainer, consultant, and presenter. His focus has been on Montessori theory, elementary level arithmetic and geometry, curriculum, classroom management and leadership, Great Lessons, higher order thinking, functions of words, and more. He is especially renowned for his work in lesson planning, record keeping, and management, and also in storytelling.

Storytelling is a particular specialty for Michael. He frequently presents, speaks, and consults on classroom storytelling, offers artist in residence opportunities to schools, and trains teachers in using storytelling in Montessori settings. He is the author of The Deep Well of Time: The Transformative Power of Classroom Storytelling, the definitive book on stories in Montessori.

Today, Michael continues to work with schools and Montessori organizations around the world. His knowledge of Montessori, his special insight, and focus on school and professional improvement put Michael in demand by Montessorians everywhere.

Robin Howe

Contact Info:
941-922-4949 / 800-655-5843

Daniel Robinson Howe, III, EdD

Dr. Daniel Robinson (Robin) Howe began his Montessori career at the age of two at the Barrie School in Silver Spring, MD, which he attended through the eighth grade. Graduating from Dickinson College with two majors (Spanish and Religion), he went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Bioethics from University of South Florida. After successfully pursuing a career in the restaurant industry, Robin decided to return to his Montessori roots. He earned his Primary certification from Palm Harbor Montessori School (AMS) then attended St. Catherine’s University to earn his Lower and Upper Elementary Certification (AMS). He also attended NAMTA’s Orientation to Adolescent Studies (AMI). Robin holds a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Argosy University and works with The Montessori Foundation’s management team at NewGate (the Foundation’s lab school), serving as Associate Head of School and as a Senior Montessori Foundation School Consultant. In his spare time, Robin lives with two Elf cats and has set a personal goal to run marathons in all fifty states.

Robin Howe

Contact Info:
941-922-4949 / 800-655-5843

Kathy Leitch, IMC Executive Director

Kathy has a twenty (20) year history of serving the IMC  as a school member, board member, and accreditation commissioner. These experiences have given her perspective, insight, understanding, and appreciation of the organization. Kathy’s passion, experience, and diverse skills will support the board in setting the course for the future of the International Montessori Council. 

Kathy Leitch has been a leader in Montessori education for over 30 years. She graduated from Barry University and earned her Montessori credentials from the American Montessori Society for 0 – 3 & 3-6. Kathy founded and continues to serve as head of Renaissance Montessori School in Fort Myers, Florida. She has over 15 years of experience as a Montessori Teacher Trainer, School Consultant and Accreditation Commissioner.  Additionally, Kathy is a certified Parenting Instructor and Mindfulness Facilitator.

Contact Info:

941-729-9565 / 800-655-5843

Lorna McGrath

Lorna Mcgrath is a Senior Consultant and Director of Family Resources at the Montessori Foundation. She also served as Associate Head of NewGate School.

Lorna has 41 years of experience in the field of education, teaching children from 18 months through 6 years old and from 12 through 18 years old in both public schools and independent Montessori schools. She received her Master’s Degree in Education with a concentration in Family Counseling from the University of Georgia, and her Montessori certification from the American Montessori Society.

Lorna is a Montessori teacher educator, conference presenter, and school consultant. Lorna has used her many years of experience, working with families in the educational setting, to develop programs for parents as well as teachers and children. She has spent many years as a certified instructor for the International Network for Children & Families, teaching classes in Redirecting Children’s Behavior, Redirecting for a Cooperative Classroom, Common Ground for Parents and Teens, and Parenting Instructor Network Training.

Contact Info:
941-729-9565 / 800-655-5843

Tanya Ryskind, J.D., AMS, IMC

Tanya has worked with the Montessori Foundation for many years and is an internationally admired leader in the Montessori school community. She is the Co-Head of the NewGate School, The Lab School of The Montessori Foundation. Tanya brings a broad set of experiences and skills from her years in both the legal and educational fields. Most importantly, Tanya has experience as a Montessori teacher trainer, an International Montessori consultant, motivational speaker, author, and frequent presenter at Montessori conferences around the world. She currently serves on the board of the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE), the agency recognized by the United States Department of Education to accredit Montessori Teacher Education programs.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of New Hampshire, cum laude, majoring in Social Services, with an emphasis on counseling. Her minor was in Spanish. She went on to earn her Juris Doctorate from the University of New Hampshire School of Law. She holds elementary Montessori certification from both the American Montessori Society and the International Montessori Council. Tanya’s continuing studies include Neuroscience and Learning through Harvard University, Oceanography and Meteorology at the State University of New York, Brockport.

Contact Info:
941-729-9565 / 800-655-5843

Tim Seldin

Tim is the President of the Montessori Foundation and Chair of the International Montessori Council. He is a noted expert in Montessori education, specializing in school leadership. He is a senior school consultant, keynote speaker, workshop leader, and accreditation specialist. His more than forty years of experience in Montessori education includes twenty-two years as Headmaster of the Barrie School in Silver Spring, Maryland, which was his own alma mater from age two through high school graduation.

Tim was the co-founder and Director of the Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies, the Center for Guided Montessori Studies, and currently also serves as the Head of the New Gate School in Sarasota, Florida. He earned a B.A. in History and Philosophy from Georgetown University, an M.Ed. in Educational Administration and Supervision from The American University, and his Montessori certification from the American Montessori Society.

Tim is the author of several books on Montessori Education, including his latest, How to Raise An Amazing Child, The Montessori Way with Dr. Paul Epstein, Building a World-class Montessori School, Master Teachers – Model Programs with Jonathan Wolff, Finding the Perfect Match – Recruit and Retain Your Ideal Enrollment, Starting a New Montessori School, Celebrations of Life, and The World in the Palm of Her Hand.

Contact Info:
941-729-9565 / 800-655-5843

Jonathan Wolff

Jonathan is a consultant, trainer, speaker and author who infuses his work in leadership development with 30 years experience as an educator and administrator. In addition to serving as a senior consultant for the Montessori Foundation and working with the Montessori Leadership Institute, he was the Founder and Director of Learning for Life and Montessori Leadership.

Jonathan provides retreats, workshops, consultations and coaching for parents, educators, leaders, Boards of Directors, community organizations and learning communities around the globe. The best-practice leadership retreats and workshops he leads facilitate community building, strategic planning, and improved organizational effectiveness. He is the coauthor with Tim Seldin of Building a World-class Montessori School, Master Teachers – Model Programs.

After earning his B.A. degree in Secondary Education from Temple University, Jonathan began teaching at-risk youth in Philadelphia. Early in his career, he read several books on the Montessori philosophy and quickly recognized the power her work in human development had to effect transformation not only within the young child but within adults as well. He went on to study with Mother Isabelle Eugenie, one of Dr. Montessori’s first students, earned his Early Childhood Credential through the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI), and began his career as a Montessori educator at one of the first Head Start Montessori Centers in the United States.

Today, his primary focus is on leadership development – designing best practices and writing books and articles that enhance individual and organizational performance. His creative, interactive programs, his humorous and inspiring teaching style, and his deep insight into the needs of people and organizations are in demand by organizations around the world.

Consultation Fees

Why pay for a Montessori school consultant?

From working with a small group of committed parents begin the daunting task of creating a new school, to organizing a new level of Montessori instruction (such as adding infant/toddler, middle school, or high school programs), to working with school communities to ‘save’ a school facing serious challenges, or guiding a school’s transition from long-time founder leadership to supporting the entire school community through the process — the Montessori Foundation’s consultants are here to help.

Our Montessori consultants and staff have incredible depth with the knowledge and skills to help give Montessori skills the edge to survive and thrive through good times and hard challenges. Sometimes the relief on a school leader’s face is palpable when they hear: “We’ve got this. Let’s get started.”

For most schools that are new to the consulting staff at the Montessori Foundation, we like to include a day of onsite consulting. Not because it’s expensive, but because even one day of speaking in person with leading members of the school’s community (administrators, teachers, students) provides invaluable information as we create a customized work plan for each school.

Meeting in person, walking the grounds, breathing in the environment and sense of commitment of the entire school community guides the choice of services and consultants best suited to meet your school’s specific needs. It is also an opportunity for school leaders to meet representatives of the Montessori Foundation in person and get to know us.

Zoom is great; spending a day (or more) together is even better. Obviously, Covid has imposed restrictions to safeguard health; however, we have consultants all over the world, which often reduces travel time and makes in-person visits safer and more practical. Seriously, Zoom has literally and figuratively a lifesaver during these most unusual of times.

Whatever your school needs, we have people with the skills to help you accomplish it.

1 Hour (phone or in person) Consultation for School and/or Administrators and Board Members

Daily Onsite Consultation for School Administrators and Board Members

1 Hour Custom-designed Live Online Professional Development Workshop

1 1/2-Hour Custom-designed Live Online Professional Development Workshop

2-Hour Custom-designed Live Online Professional Development Workshop

3 Hour Custom-designed Live Online Professional Development Workshop

We also offer full-day Custom-designed Live Online Professional Development Workshops

$150 (US) per hour

Contact us today to schedule an online consultation with one of our senior consultants. Many schools schedule a series of online consulting sessions to help them through a time of challenge or critical planning and transition.

$1, 500 (US) per day
(plus expenses)

We come to your school. Schools cover transportation, food, and lodging. We follow up with an in-depth report at the end of the visit with an analysis of challenges and opportunities in order to move forward.

$300 (US) 

We will meet with you beforehand to customize your workshop experience. 

$450 (US) 

We will meet with you beforehand to customize your workshop experience. These ninety-minute interactive workshops allow for participation and discussion.

$600 (US) per 2 hours

This 120-minute interactive workshop is available for up to 65 participants  (includes assessment and practice exercises). 

$900 (US)

Usually organized as two ninety-minute sessions with a break for coffee or lunch, these three-hour workshops allow time to go into more depth and discussion, or to address two separate topics.

$1,500 (US)

These full-day workshops can be scheduled in many ways, including spreading them out over two or more days. They allow the time that we all need to go into depth, participate in learning activities and discussion or address two or more topics.