Private school programs are not bound by the same set of standards that are applied to public schools. In most situations, this is a good thing because it means private programs have more flexibility to provide students with appropriate instruction and valuable opportunities. However, many parents have concerns about this freedom as it relates to the training of the teachers in private programs. If you are considering a Montessori program for your child there are some facts you should know about the training that the teachers receive.
Montessori teachers do have to meet some state standards
Montessori teachers do not have to follow the same educational path as public school teachers but they are required to meet certain standards by the state. To work with children in a Montessori classroom at the pre-school level, the state requires a minimum of 12 early childhood education units from an accredited program. And, all primary through elementary teachers must have the required units for California State Licensing.
Montessori teachers are required to meet standards of their particular program
The teacher standards for each Montessori program you consider may vary slightly. At Fountainhead Montessori, all teachers meet a rigorous set of standards that includes meeting the state requirements and obtaining Montessori credentials through a program approved by the American Montessori Society (AMS) and the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE). At FMS many teachers have bachelor's degrees, and some have master's degrees.
Montessori teachers are observed applying the Montessori Method in the classroom
An important part of teacher training at Fountainhead Montessori is in-class training and observation. All head teachers in classrooms at FMS have received extensive field experience and observation. Teachers are expected to apply the Montessori Method in all aspects of the classroom to ensure consistency and maximum benefit to the students. Teachers are also regularly observed throughout the year even after the initial training period is complete.
Another important piece of information to note about the Montessori classroom is that most have a head teacher as well as an assistant teacher. This design allows for more individualized attention for the students. It also allows the teacher to focus on elements of instruction without being constantly sidetracked with the logistical challenges of running a classroom. The team element of having two teachers in the classroom is beneficial for everyone involved.
You can learn more about the training of teachers at Fountainhead Montessori here. You can go even deeper with your understanding of the qualifications of Montessori teachers by scheduling a class observation. This will allow you to see the teacher and assistant in action and decide for yourself if the way they teach and run the classroom will be a good fit for your child.