Since 1897, Montessori schools have focused on promoting independence while meeting the cognitive, physical, emotional and social needs of children. Montessori school children may be young infants or 18 year old teenagers. No matter their age, Montessori students benefit from the educational approach that’s taught in thousands of schools, daycare centers and private homes throughout the U.S. and internationally. Becoming a Montessori teacher is both rewarding and enjoyable, so find out more about how to pursue this career.
The Montessori approach to education is different than the educational approach taught in traditional brick and mortar schools. Therefore, Montessori teachers must receive a specialized education and training to work in a Montessori-based classroom. The Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE) offers official accreditation to schools that wish to train Montessori teachers. The U.S. Department of Education has recognized the MACTE since 1995.
Potential teachers may choose between several Montessori-approved programs.
- The independent program allows students to work toward earning teaching credentials, and the program may include some bachelor’s or master’s degree credits earned from a college or university.
- The college/university program is offered in schools and may include master’s degree coursework.
- Blended or hybrid programs include a mix of classroom hours and hours earned via online distance learning.
In these programs, potential teachers receive credentials to teach one or more age levels.
- Infant and Toddler (birth to age 3)
- Early Childhood (ages 2-1/2 to 6)
- Elementary I (ages 6 to 9)
- Elementary II (ages 9 to 12)
- Elementary I – II (ages 6 to 12)
- Secondary I (ages 12 to 15)
- Secondary I – II (ages 12 to 18)
Most age levels require teachers to earn a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree. For potential teachers who do not have a BA or BS degree, they can earn credentials that qualify them to teach Infant and Toddler or Early Childhood classes.
Every Montessori trained teacher takes advantage of classroom work that varies based on the classroom level the student ultimately wants to teach. For example, Early Childhood teachers must take 300 classroom hours while they’re in school.
Additionally, a year-long internship offers practical training under a veteran teacher and a neutral Montessori consultant. The internship gives student teachers the chance to put their classroom training into practice under supervision before they take over their own classroom.
Becoming a Montessori Administrator
Montessori educators who desire leadership positions may pursue further education to become a Montessori school administrator. They earn an administrators degree from a certified Montessori program and go on to serve as school heads, principals or program directors. In that capacity, Montessori administrators oversee:
- Daily operations
- Teacher hiring and training
- Harmony throughout the school
- Compliance with the Montessori educational approach
What Montessori Teachers Learn in College
In school, Montessori teachers learn a variety of skills, including:
- Montessori philosophy and theory
- How to use Montessori materials appropriately and accurately
- Human growth and development
- Teaching strategies for unique individual growth
- Observational skills that enable the teachers to guide and challenge children
- How to use an array of Montessori-based materials and activities
Character Requirements for Montessori Teachers
Montessori teachers may be found in all demographics, and teachers of all ages, religions and creeds work in classrooms throughout the world. All teachers have several traits in common, however. They are:
- Role models
- Dedicated to children
- Committed to the unique interests and learning styles of individual children
Teaching in a Montessori school provides a rewarding career. With a love for children and ability to value individuals, Montessori teachers make thoughtful and conscientious educators.