A NAMTA Conference in Houston, TX, January 14-17, 2016

Growing Up in a Culture of Distraction:
Finding Positive Montessori Strategies to Support Concentration


Featuring author Maggie Jackson and
Montessori teacher trainers Annette Haines and Sarah Werner Andrews


January 14-17, 2016

Houston, Texas


Concentration and engagement are the guideposts for our work, yet now more than ever we see children who are distracted, behaviors that are out of control, and an over-reliance on labels and specialized interventions. Montessori educators have the potential to help children find the right activity that will fully capture their attention and aid them in developing their full capacity. We have the tools to help children control their own actions and responses, to concentrate despite distractions, to integrate sensory perceptions, and to engage in positive social behaviors. But we too need help accessing these tools and strategies.


This conference will take a holistic, positive view of children who seek grounding in the physicality of the Montessori environment. We will explore supportive strategies to implement in the classroom as well as the total school environment to help teachers develop an appreciation and understanding of the unique gifts of children who experience the world differently. Keynotes will feature Montessori trainers Annette Haines and Sarah Werner Andrews. Breakouts will include discussions about the design elements of environments that support concentration and creativity, strategies to support individual and social engagement, and how to better help all children find their own path to “normality.”


Dear NAMTA Members, Colleagues and Friends,

We are writing to you all to confirm that NAMTA will complete its final membership year at the end of July 2019. We are pleased to let you know, however, that we are prepared to extend our membership benefits through October, in order to support the October conference in Baltimore and to fulfill our commitments for our other NAMTA services – our final journal, job postings for the upcoming academic year, the NAMTA bibliography, and the NAMTA store.

This year has provided us with the opportunity to reflect on NAMTA’s history and how we have served the Montessori community. In a survey of our members, three areas stood out as most significant: the NAMTA Journals, our conferences through which we introduced outside speakers and non-Montessori voices to the Montessori community, and our open membership.

We have also reflected on our more tangible assets: the full collection of NAMTA Journals; NAMTA publications for teachers, schools and parents; the NAMTA archives which have been made available through our website, and the NAMTA store.

Our goal and our commitment is to make these publications and archives widely available for future generations of teachers and schools. In order to do this, we realize that the materials will need to be digitized and held in a repository that has easy access for the Montessori and the non-Montessori world.

NAMTA’s membership and associates extend globally as well as in North America. We have determined, therefore, that in order to have the publications and archives widely accessible, they should belong to the International Montessori movement. We will therefore be working with AMI and the AMI Global Research Committee to accomplish the digitized publishing of the NAMTA legacy.

This transfer of our assets will mean that NAMTA as a separate organization and affiliate will dissolve. NAMTA has played an important role in fulfilling its mission to support the development of teachers and schools over the years. The Montessori movement is far more complex than it was in 1975 when we were formed as a teachers’ organization and so we hope that by making the NAMTA archives widely accessible, we can continue to support the evolution of the movement.

AMI-USA will be offering regional conferences and continuing to publish journals, both of which have been identified as important to NAMTA members. We encourage NAMTA members to join AMI to be able to receive these benefits as well as connect to the global AMI community and to receive the journals, events and outreach support of AMI. Membership to AMI is open to everyone; for AMI-USA membership information, click here, for AMI Global, click here.

The NAMTA Officers will be working with our attorney to adhere to the procedures for dissolution outlined in our by-laws. We will post this notice on our website and will also keep you updated as we undertake this effort.

In the meantime, we would like to thank you all for your support and engagement in NAMTA’s work and for your continued commitment to the development of Montessori work across the world. It has been an absolute pleasure working with you and we look forward to engaging with you at future AMI events.

NAMTA Board of Directors,

Jacquie Maughan, Deborah Bricker, Molly O’Shaughnessy,
Gerard Leonard, Sarah Werner Andrews