How to become a Montessori Teacher: A Definitive Guide

Key Takeaways:

  1. Dr. Maria Montessori changed the word “teacher” to “directress”. A Montessori Teacher must guide children towards the source of information and not be the source itself. 
  2. A Montessori Teacher is an observer, a guide, a supporter, a demonstrator, and a provider for children. 
  3. To be eligible for a Montessori teaching course one should have an Intermediate (10+2) certificate and Bachelor’s degree in any stream.
  4. The demand for Montessori teachers is often so high that some institutions offer to provide sponsorship to candidates in exchange for them to teach for a couple of years.
  5. The average salary of a trained Montessori teacher with experience can be $42000 annually.

Dr. Maria Montessori, an Italian Physician, educator, and pedagogue opened her first institution for teacher training Orthophrenic School also called  Scuola Magistrale Ortofrenica for children with learning and mental disabilities in the year 1900.

A total of 64 teachers enrolled in this program to study :

  • Psychology
  • Physiology 
  • Anatomy of the nervous system
  • Causes and Characteristics of multiple mental disabilities

In the two years of teaching and teacher training in the Orthophrenic school, Dr. Montessori developed a successful method of education that could also be implemented in normal children.

Montessori opened her first Casa Dei Bambini or Children’s house in 1907, where about 50 to 60 children between the ages of 2 to 7 enrolled.

Through rigorous observation of children in the first Casa Dr. Montessori developed the basis of her pedagogical tool The Montessori Method

There are about 23,000 Montessori schools in 115 countries of the world.

The Montessori Method is a pedagogical tool that focuses on the development of senses as well as provides children with a Prepared Environment with Montessori materials and apparatus to facilitate hands-on learning and self-directed play.

A Montessori school is a multi-age-level institution where children are encouraged to learn and develop at their own pace.

The children in Montessori schools are provided with appropriate materials that facilitate cognitive and visual stimulation.

To faciliate overall development of the child the Montessori method of teaching focuses on three key aspects: Practical, Formal skills, and sensory development.

A teacher’s role in a Montessori institution should be: as a facilitator, spectator, observer, and director.

A teacher’s Role and Responsibility in a Montessori School

Dr. Maria Montessori changed the word “teacher” to “directress”. She believed that we must guide children toward the source of information and not be the source itself.

The Montessori method of teaching provides auto-didactic development to children, which facilitates the development of inner potentialities and confidence. 

A Montessori teacher should be familiar with the basic principles of the Montessori method and treat each child in the classroom as a separate individual.

Children have the freedom to move around freely in the classroom and choose whichever activity they want to participate in, the teacher or educator should not interfere or provide instructions during the activity period.

The Teacher should let the child learn how to use the materials and apparatus on their own.
The teacher should be an observer and must remain motionless and silent during the activity hours.
The teacher must follow the basic principles of Montessori education.

  • Teacher as an observer
    The teacher should observe the progress and actions of the children. The teacher should have intimate knowledge of each child in the class.
    She should maintain records of every child’s individual development including their weight, height, and other measurements.
    The teacher should observe:
    • Behavioral Development
    • Mental Development
    • Emotional development
      The teacher must refrain from interfering during the child’s focused activities. 
  • Teacher as a provider
    The teacher should provide a proper Montessori environment for the education process. The teacher should always be attentive and alert.
    The teacher must provide children with a safe environment that facilitates holistic development along with sensorial development.
    The Teacher has the responsibility to provide suitable materials and apparatus for imparting education to her students.
  • Teacher as a guide
    the teacher should take care of the child as a gardener takes care of plants. She should direct the children toward the source of information instead of being the source herself. The teacher should allow the pupils to grow and learn on their own as well as provide proper guidance and direction to help the pupils move forward.
  • Encouragement
    The teacher should encourage the children to step out of their comfort zone and help develop the child’s inner confidence.
    The teacher must provide children with a Prepared Environment and give the children freedom of choice to participate in any activity of their choice.
  • Respecting the Child
    It is important to be considerate of every child’s uniqueness and individual needs. The teacher should act as a guide and provide children should provide children with an appropriate environment and materials to unfold their inner potentialities.
    The teacher should be respectful towards the children during the education process.
  • Understanding individuality
    Every child has different skill sets and unique ways to exhibit their inner potential.
    The teachers in a Montessori school must understand the importance of individuality and treat each child as a separate individual, as well as provide individualized learning activities and curriculum for children to learn at their own pace.
  • Teacher as Demonstrator
    The teacher in a Montessori school should act as a good role model for the children. Before starting any activity or class for children between the age of 2 to 6 years the teacher must demonstrate or give a lesson on the materials and apparatus the children will be using for the activities.
    The demonstration and lessons should gradually stop as the child develops.
  • Cooperation and support
    The teacher should help the child learn freely and independently.
    She should provide an environment where the child can develop a sense of confidence, independence, and intelligence.
    The teacher should support and cooperate with children and facilitate education through a prepared and structured environment. 

Requirements to become a Montessori Teacher

Montessori institutions use materials that were specially developed by Dr. Montessori to provide auto-didactic development.
Montessori institutions use non-traditional methods of imparting education keeping the needs of developing and absorbent minds of children.
The children in Montessori schools are provided with objects which help in cognitive and visual stimulation.
This educational approach is based on hands-on learning and self-directed collaborative play that helps children get the opportunity to learn about their inner potentialities and grow at their own pace.
A teacher in a Montessori school should be willing to:

  • Prepare a classroom environment
  • Impart education 
  • Facilitate holistic development of the child 

The candidate should be cooperative, understanding, and compassionate towards children. 

A Montessori teacher training program is absolutely essential for becoming a teacher in a Montessori school.
The candidate should be certified to teach in a Montessori school.  To be eligible for a Montessori teaching course one should have an Intermediate (10+2) certificate and Bachelor’s degree in any stream.
One should choose a proper institution that is affiliated with the Association of Montessori Internationale (AMI) that offers full-term courses or join a Diploma course.
The candidate must select an appropriate certification program according to their academic background and needs. 

Refer to the sources for further reading:

List of Montessori Certification Programs 

A Montessori teacher must receive specialized training in the Montessori method of education. The candidate must select a proper institution that provides certifications and diplomas.
A Montessori teacher must study the psychology of the planes of development

  1. ages 0 to 3
  2. ages 3 to 6,
  3. ages 6 to 12. There are multiple courses and certifications provided by the Association of Montessori Internationale in many countries across the world.
Course DescriptionDuration 
AMI Diploma in Assistants to Infancy (0 to 3 years)The candidates are required to study current approaches toward child development and the psychology of infants (0 to 3 years)400 hours of classroom training including lectures, and 250 hours of observation. 
AMI Diploma in Children’s House (3 to 6) Study of Montessori Pedagogy and current approaches of child development and psychology from years 3 to 6400 hours of classroom training including lectures, 140 hours of supervision practice, 170 hours of observation teaching 
AMI Montessori Diploma, Elementary (6 to 12)  *(Only after AMI 3 to 6 Diploma) The in-depth study of Montessori pedagogy and child development along with the interdisciplinary approach of human beings. 440 hours of classroom training, 140 hours of practice with Montessori materials, and 210 hours of observation.
List of Diploma courses (AMI)

Career after acquiring the certification

A job as a Montessori teacher can be highly fulfilling and rewarding.

A Montessori teacher is a facilitator of :

  • holistic development 
  • confidence
  • excellence in young children

If the candidate is certified by a highly reputed and respected program, they will not face any difficulties finding a secured job as a Montessori teacher. 
Montessori schools and institutions have spread all around the world.
A Montessori teacher should act as a role model and have an eye for thorough observation during classroom activities.

The Montessori method arrived in the United States in 1911 when the first Montessori school opened.
A job as a Montessori teacher is financially secure. There is a very high demand and job openings for Montessori Trained teachers in the USA due to the Montessori method’s growing popularity in the country.  

The demand for Montessori teachers is often so high that some institutions offer to provide sponsorship to candidates in exchange for them to teach for a couple of years. 

Salary of a Montessori Teacher

A decision to become a Montessori-trained teacher comes with the benefit of Financial security. The teachers in a Montessori school go through intense pedagogical theory and practical training.
In comparison to an average preschool teacher, a Montessori teacher with certification or degree and no experience is likely to get paid more.  

According to Glassdoor the average salary of a Montessori Trained teacher with experience can be $42000 annually (average base pay).

A Montessori teacher can expect an average starting salary of $30000 and the highest salary of a Montessori teacher can exceed up to $59000 based on experience as well as certification. 

Organizations and Association for Montessori Teacher Training

Read here to further learn about the following organizations: 

  • Association of Montessori Internationale (AIM) U.S.A
  • Pan America Montessori Society (PAMS)
  • Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE)
  • Inter Montessori Council (IMC)/ The Montessori Foundation
  • Montessori Education Programs International (MEPI) 
  • American Montessori Society (AMS)
  • Indian Montessori Foundation (IMF) 
  • India Montessori Center (IMC) 
  • Montessori Institute of America (MIA) 
  • International Association of Progressive Montessorians (IAPM)
  • North American Montessori Teachers Association (NAMTA)
  • Montessori Leaders Collaborative (MLC)

Why Should you choose to become a Montessori Teacher?

The job of any teacher is fulfilling and heartwarming, but a Montessori Teacher has an opportunity to provide the child with the most vital tools to succeed in life.

A Montessori teacher is a director, a guide, and a facilitator, a person who shares the journey of development along with the child, instead of sitting on the sidelines.

Montessori Teachers are equipped with the ability to mold, shape, and change children’s life for the best!

While teachers in a Traditional educational institution are the direct source of knowledge, A Montessori teacher is a guide who encourages the child to become a seeker of knowledge.

If you are a person who wants to provide children with every single possibility to grow, develop, and achieve higher levels of educational attainments, the Job of a Montessori Teacher is meant for you!

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