The Montessori method is a scientifically based education approach in which children learn simply by exploring the world around them.
It was introduced by Dr. Maria Montessori along with some other founders.
This form of education emphasizes children to partake in self-guided and hands-on in their learning activities. It applies to all age groups.
Montessori teachers can play a tremendous role to foster this process of learning in children.
Role of a teacher in Montessori
As the Montessori method is different from the conventional teaching methods, the teacher in the Montessori is different from any traditional teacher.
A Montessori teacher is more like a guide than an instructor. Their role is versatile and not restricted to just academics.
- The Montessori teachers prepare a rich educational environment in class to create opportunities to instill independence and accountability in students.
- They encourage the students to explore and work independently which can boost self-confidence in children.
- They guide, supervise, and assess children while they learn in the classroom environment.
- They observe the students and identify their needs.
- According to their needs, the teacher teaches interesting and relevant lessons. They strive to engage the child’s interest and focus on the lessons and activities.
- They are supportive and offer warmth, security, and non-judgmental acceptance to each child.
- They empower students by establishing trust and respect that fosters responsibility in children and joy in their learning.
- They act as a bridge between the students and their learning environment and promote the ability of children to choose activities of their interests.
- They encourage children to develop socially, intellectually, and emotionally. It helps them to be independent and to make their own choices.
- They monitor each child’s progress individually and interpret it to the parents and school management.
- The teacher guides students in activities to explore and analyze to find an imaginative and creative solution to every problem.
- The teacher allows students to explore, discover and experience the joy of learning.
- The teacher facilitates communication among the students so that they become socially responsible, and empathetic and learn to respect every peer.
- They act as role models to instill good values like honesty, understanding, tolerance, respect, love, and kindness in students. These qualities evolve into responsible citizens as they grow up.
- They encourage the children to organize and keep their environment in order after their classroom sessions.
- A teacher in Montessori has to evaluate the effectiveness of the work done by each child.
- A Montessori teacher may have children of various ages in a single class.
- The teacher has to adapt teaching techniques that will cater to the needs of all the students.
- The teacher can foster in them a sense of calm, consistency, discipline, and politeness.
Qualification requirement to pursue a career as a Montessori teacher
It is imperative to be trained with appropriate skills to become a Montessori teacher.
Are you looking for a career as a Montessori teacher?
You can follow these steps.
- Montessori teacher training programs require applicants to have a Bachelor’s degree in early childhood teaching, education, or a related discipline.
- Being familiar with the teaching methodology is one of the qualifications.
- Prospective Montessori teachers need to complete training at an accredited training center.
- Additional education courses would be advantageous.
- They must be able to multi-task and treat all with love and respect.
- Excellent planning and organizational skills are required.
- Patience, excellent observational, communication, and diagnostic skills are required as they handle children of different age groups and their needs.
- Some states in the United States require teachers in independent/nonpublic schools, to have a state teaching credential.
Certifications available for Montessori teacher
Holding certifications are an added advantage in any profession. For a Montessori teacher, it is no exception. It can make you skillful and a successful Montessori teacher.
Getting certifications done is a pretty straightforward process.
Bachelor’s degree in any discipline is recommended before two or more years of training.
Ensure to choose the right kind of certifications according to your interests and needs.
The conditions to get Montessori teaching certification are –
- Bachelor’s degree from a native-recognized US college/university.
- Have to complete training at a certified Montessori center. American Montessori Society (AMS) is one such approved training center.
Montessori Accreditation Council For Teacher Education (MACTE) has a list of accredited training in the US.
- The level of certification needs to be determined.
- Montessori teacher training needs to be enrolled and completed.
Certification programs are recommended by AMS-affiliated teacher training programs. You can select one according to your interests and needs.
At AMS, you need to choose different areas of certification based on age groups.
These include –
Infants & Toddlers (0-3 years)
Early Childhood (2.5 – 6 years)
Elementary I (6 – 9 years)
Elementary II (9 – 12 years)
Secondary levels (12 – 15 years and 15-18 years of age)
Prerequisites To earn an AMS credential or endorsement (MIE) at an AMS-affiliated teacher education program –
- Bachelor’s degree from a local certified US college/university
- AMS recognized Montessori credential
- Experience of a minimum of one-year teaching in a Montessori classroom
The AMS Montessori Inclusion Endorsement (MIE) is designed for a teacher with Montessori credentials who seek knowledge and skills to make Montessori learning in children a holistic development.
To learn more about Montessori Inclusion Endorsement (MIE), visit MIE.
If you have a Secondary level (high school) diploma, a general equivalency diploma (GED), or the international equivalent, you may be eligible for an Associate credential.
The Associate credential is applicable at the Infant & Toddler and Early Childhood levels only.
AMS recommends holders of the Associate credential get a bachelor’s degree so that they can upgrade to a Full credential. It helps open a world of opportunities.
Duration of the credentials and what to expect
The duration to earn an AMS credential may be one or two years. The hours may vary according to the course level.
They include classroom discussions and hands-on activities. Most Montessori teachers work for 1,200 hours on their certification.
The MIE is a shorter study course with 16 weeks of practicum.
You can also get an online certification. The Center For Guided Montessori Studies has such an online teacher training program.
Activities during certification include:
- Learning to observe students during different Montessori programs
- Listen to lectures
- Create teaching manuals
- Write reports
- Worked on a project for one year
- Complete a year of practicum
- Read books and journals
Montessori teacher’s average salary
The average salary of a Montessori teacher in the United States is 36,000 $ per year.
The Average Salary for Entry-level positions starts at 29,250 $ yearly. Experienced teachers can earn up to 54,840 $ per year.
Montessori Teacher as a career choice
A career as a Montessori teacher is an excellent choice. However, having complete interest and passion are very essential to fulfill the criteria required for it.
A Montessori teacher is not just any teacher but a guide, facilitator, role model, diagnostician, mentor, and the list goes on.
They can go a long way in shaping the children’s future with their guidance, dedication, and perseverance.
They build the community with individuals who are kind, independent, self-reliant, confident, and responsible.