"Our work with Carmen was meaningful and important. It provided
us the opportunity to reflect on our teaching practices,
routines and environments. Carmen gently, expertly, and in a spirit
of positivity, guided us as we thought about the what, why and how
of what we do and as we developed ideas about what we could change
and improve on. It was a wonderful and important way to get the new
school year under way!
— Luisa Donati
Director at Methodist Preschool of Pacific Palisades
Los Angeles, CA. US
"Carmen is a master in waking up the creative
forces in children and in adults, and helping them on their individual
way to their full potential. "
— Elisabeth Viertler
Pediatrician Mals, Italy.
"Carmen's workshop was one of the most informative,
enlightened and fun that I have encountered. As Director of an infant
center/preschool, it re-opened my eyes to ways of incorporating play
into our academic/transition-based program. I truly believe all teachers
will benefit from Carmen's ideas."
— Nora Napier
Director Building Kidz, Preschool
Pacifica, CA. US
"I feel very inspired and motivated by Carmen's style
of teaching. Her concrete examples have a deep impact on my work with
— Nancy N.
Teacher at Building Kidz, Preschool
San Mateo, CA. US
"Carmen is exploring what this generation
of children really needs: complete faith in their capabilities and
environments that nourish true
authentic learning with joy."
— Vicki Abrams
Director of Childbirth and Yoga Programs Chopra Center For
"Carmen is bringing Montessori education to
the next level. "
— Lynn Twist
Founder The Pachamama Alliance
"Carmen Gamper has a deep understanding of the guidance required and environment necessary, along with the love for children and their innate capacity to learn, that supports development of the unique expression of each child. Carmen is a valuable resource for anyone that wants to better understand how to give their child the best possible opportunity for developing their capacity through individual experiential understanding and within a social context. She draws from a broad field of progressive knowledge about childhood education, years of practice in the field, and an intuitive understanding of a child�s needs and the importance of joyfully honoring them individually."
— Bradford Hanson-Smith
"After our phone consultation I felt totally empowered to move forward in the direction of reclaiming my son's education and future. I'm inspired on may different levels to reach into what are his individual needs...emotional, spiritual, social, academic, and more, to help him actualize his own potential and love for learning. Thank you so much. I look forward to talking again and following your great work."
— Dabney Griggs
Mother, Santa Cruz, CA
"What a great introduction! I want more! I came
very closed, but Carmen's talk opened my mind. Thank you!"
— Nancy Iannone
Teacher at Methodist Preschool of Pacific Palisades
Los Angeles, CA. USA
"Carmen's workshop was so much fun and very
educational for me. I loved it! The way Carmen presented Maria Montessori's
philosophy gave me that 'Aha-moment'. The structure I learnt gives
me freedom for my work with the children."
— Rita Coye
Los Angeles, CA. USA
"The work with Carmen is helping me to collaborate
with my co-teachers more joyfully and efficiently"
— Joanna Siegel
Los Angeles, CA. USA
"Carmen, thank you for the indispensable information you gave to us. In a very simple and direct way, you were very efficient. I hope we can have more workshops with you in the future."
— Vincenzo Muro
Teacher at Parliamo Italiano Preschool
San Rafael, CA. USA
"Carmen brought MAGIC to our elementary
(Testimonial translated from German blog, Buntglas)
"The third year of UmaDuma alternative Montessori-school, 2005-2006, brought radical change. Due to a variety of reasons, personal and professional, both teachers who worked at Uma Duma the first two years left the school.
"We found two teachers just in time for the start of the school year. One of them was in Montessori teacher training, the other, already had practical experience. Unfortunately, neither of them could work every day of the week, a key requirement for us. To make up for that, one of the mothers (me) committed to be at the school for the first half of the year. Additionally, each morning one of the mothers came to help. We knew that it was necessary to have several teachers at all times due to the many rooms in the building (elementary class rooms, middle school class room, kitchen, play room, experiment room, construction room, carpentry, music and handicraft room, and outdoor space).
"Our greatest blessing was to meet Carmen Gamper at this point. I can’t remember who introduced us – but she appeared like a gift from heaven! She presented us parents and teachers with exactly what we needed most: concrete suggestions and practical support for the bigger and smaller problems that a school encounters. She taught us that we can and should learn new things day by day, just like our children, and that we can question things that we had learned before – even that it was our right to question!
"In the beginning we asked her to teach us adults how to use the Montessori-materials in an informal way with the children. For most of us the materials were sacred, and at the same time almost unapproachable. However, it was exactly this apprehension that allowed us to unconsciously relate with our children. If we were not able to have fun with discovering, experimenting, and playing – yes playing! – how could we ask our children to not be shy and have fun with exploring the materials?
"Carmen introduced us to the learning materials with simple descriptions. Amazingly, there were no long verbal explanations. She placed the sticks and cubes with intentional slow movements. This created an atmosphere where separate concepts start to connect, and deep learning can take place. “I understand! It’s so clear! That’s the way it works.“
"Carmen also helped us with our learning environment. For example, she restructured the room for science experiments. The measurement containers were placed in order of size. On the wall, there was a holder with weekly tips for experiments, and on the table below, there was specific material placed ready for use: eye-droppers, nails, salt, balloons, or whatever we needed. A follow-up sheet was ready for the results.
"This newly created environment invited the children to learn and to become actively involved.
"Books were placed in a way that said: Read me! A box containing colorful pieces of leather, and cards with suggestions for handicraft works said, 'Work with me!' In the fridge flour, sugar, raisins said, 'Bake! Cook! Taste me!' The musical instruments placed in the rolling box said, 'Play me!' This is the way a school should be!
Relationship Towards Children
"Carmen also helped us with questions concerning social interaction with the children.
"She introduced observation sheets to keep track of their progress.
"She gave us clear advice on how to mediate in a conflict, on how to make sure that the basic boundaries are kept, on how to deal with four-letter-words.
"She taught, if conflicts repeat themselves, there is usually a reason. Do the children need more attention? Do they need boundaries? Is the environment properly prepared for the current needs of the children? Is the behavior of the children part of their natural development, or has a specific need been overlooked?
Observation at School
"Carmen came in the mornings to observe adults and children together. After school, we could come to her with our questions. It’s incredible how many questions one develops in the course of a few hours!
"In those weeks, Carmen gave many suggestions on how we could transform the rooms so that they serve the genuine needs of the children and the adults. Together, we decided to separate the rooms, some materials were eliminated, some were added. It made such a difference! We were stunned how the children reacted even to the smallest changes. Suddenly, they looked with great interest at things that had been overlooked for years. There were days when the creativity was astounding. On those days we went home singing: school is beautiful!
"Overall, we became more and more secure. We also understood the books by Maria Montessori and Rebeca Wild directly. The beautiful words and sentences became concrete advice. We learned how to observe independently and draw conclusions from our own observations.
"When Carmen left for the U.S. we were sad, but not discouraged. We had contact over e-mail, which continues today. Often one of us says 'Do you remember how Carmen explained that'?
"There are things one never forgets. The weeks with Carmen belong to those things. Thank you Carmen."
— Sybille Tezzele-Kramer
Co-founder, Alternative Elementary Montessori School "Uma Duma"
Visit Sybille's Blog, Buntglas