Sara Cotner has cultivated broad and deep insight into education reform as a Teach For America corps member and national staff member, the founder of an independent consulting firm focused on high-performing charter schools, an adjunct professor, and a teacher in various environments, including charter, traditional districts, and public Montessori. In 2012 she founded Montessori For All to blend the best of high-performing charter schools with the best of innovative education models to fully prepare children for a future we can only begin to imagine. Montessori For All seeks to change the conversation about what’s possible for 21st century education by building proof-point schools in diverse communities around the United States, codifying and disseminating best practices around personalized learning, training teachers, and partnering with districts and Charter Management Organizations to support their implementation of more innovative models.
Montessori For All’s instructional approach uses a 100% personalized and competency-based curriculum, hands-on materials, multi-age classrooms, student-led projects, and embedded social and emotional learning to dramatically increase college persistence rates and prepare students to transform the 21st century. In this session, participants will experience a Montessori “work cycle” in a 1st-3rd grade classroom, including self-directed work with Montessori materials, group lessons, and mini-conferences with “guides.”
This session will focus on first-hand insights into the importance of early education and the potential for high-quality early childhood education to enable all children to realize their potential. It will also highlight the pragmatic reality of involving various stakeholders across levels in holding programs in all settings—public schools and community based organizations that serve more than 58,000 children across New York City—to high standards of quality, and supporting administrators and teachers in meeting those standards.