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How Practical Life Enhances the Toddler’s Sense of Order and Personality

Nancy McNabb, Mary Ellen Maunz


We will focus on the many facets of the sense of order, independence, and the development of the will.

Dr. Maria Montessori realized that order and predictability play a critical role in the first three years of life, understanding that there is an external order relating to the child’s perception of the environment, and an internal order relating to the development and refinement of the muscular and nervous systems.

The Montessori environment recognizes these dual needs for order and establishes a calm, orderly environment including practical life experiences where the child can expect to find things in their proper place and order and gain increasing independence. It is here that toddlers feel safe and secure with themselves and the world around them. They can become peaceful and normalized with their own will and personality.


Nancy McNabb
  • Nancy McNabb is a parent of four adult children, a grandparent of nine grandchildren, a Montessori teacher and school administrator, a Montessori consultant and parent coach.
  • She holds a BS in Psychology and a MS in Counseling from Florida State University.
  • Her love for children led to her pursuing the Montessori Early Childhood certification where she was trained by Dr. Elizabeth Caspari and Mary Ellen Maunz in1983.
  • Nancy founded her first school and later taught in and directed a large Infant/Toddler Community.
  • She received Infant/Toddler certification with the American Montessori Society in Boulder, Colorado in 1994.
  • She has taught in and been the administrator of two successful Montessori schools in Montana over the past 39 years.
  • Nancy helped to develop the Montessori Infant/Toddler Teacher Course for Age of Montessori. She is the lead instructor and oversees and mentors the students and interns.
  • In her spare time Nancy enjoys gardening, taking walks and playing with her nine grandchildren.
Mary Ellen Maunz
  • Founder and Program Director of Age of Montessori’s infant-toddler, early childhood and elementary teacher certification courses and pioneer in blended Montessori Teacher Education
  • Mother of three grown children
  • Holder of AMI certificate for 2-1/2 – 7, PAMS certificate for 6-12 and as Master Teacher, BS in Child Development and M.Ed. in Integrative education with Emphasis on Montessori
  • 50 years of experience in Montessori education, as toddler, early childhood and elementary teacher, administrator and teacher educator
  • Co-author of Learning to Read is Child’s Play, 2001, Author of Nurturing Your Child’s Inner Life, 2012
  • Creator of more than 75 webinars and 4-week virtual courses on numerous aspects of Montessori education
  • International speaker and trainer, presenter on five continents, founder of Montessori early childhood training program in St. Petersburg, Russia
  • 10 years as a Commissioner and Member Board of Directors, Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE)
  • 2015 Recipient of MACTE’s Wisdom of the Elders award
  • Currently serves as a MACTE on-site evaluator

When not working, Mary Ellen is an avid photographer and loves to read, hike, travel, collect stamps and spend time with her children and close friends

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