Implementing the Montessori Method in the classroom requires extensive knowledge of the Montessori philosophy of education. The tenets of the Montessori philosophy impact how the classroom is designed, how the students learn, and the role of the teacher. To effectively teach in the Montessori classroom teachers must receive extra training on the Montessori Method. Each teacher is required to meet some basic standards established by the state. Beyond those basics, teachers must receive Montessori credentials from an accrediting organization and receive supervised field experience.
All teachers and teacher assistants in the Montessori classroom are required to get a minimum of twelve credit hours in early childhood education. These courses must be taken at an accredited institution to count toward the credentialing of a Montessori teacher or assistant. The early childhood education units include courses such as Child Growth and Development, Child and Family Relations, Principles and Practices of Early Childhood Education, and Diversity in Early Childhood Education Classrooms. These courses help lay the groundwork for Montessori teachers to understand the unique educational and developmental needs of young children.
Montessori teachers at the primary and elementary levels are required to obtain Montessori credentials. Getting Montessori credentials includes completing a course of study that is approved by the American Montessori Society (AMS) and the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE). Through this type of program, teachers get intensive training in the Montessori philosophy with classroom instruction and onsite observation. The Montessori philosophy takes a unique approach to educating students. The design of the classroom, the role of the teacher, and the expectations of the students are all impacted by elements of the philosophy behind Montessori education. To truly grasp this philosophy of education, aspiring teachers must spend time studying and observing the Montessori Method.
Supervised field experience
All Montessori teachers are required to have supervised field experience. This experience is time spent in the classroom putting their knowledge of the Montessori Method into action. All candidates spend time completing a practicum that includes classroom observation, learning to interact appropriately with parents, and developing skills in classroom leadership. This time spent in the classroom is an essential part of learning to apply the Montessori philosophy in a real-world setting. The Montessori classroom is much different than a typical public classroom which is why such an emphasis is placed on the importance of supervised field experience.
At Fountainhead Montessori School, each teacher goes through the extensive training outlined above. Many of the teachers have bachelor’s degrees and some have master’s degrees in addition to their early childhood education units and Montessori credentials. You can learn more about the training and expectations of teachers in the Montessori classroom with resources provided by the AMS and MACTE.