Working in a Montessori school is an incredibly rewarding and fulfilling experience. Whether you’re looking to join the field or simply want to learn more about your favorite teachers, these steps will help you understand what it takes to teach the Montessori Method.
Step One: Get a Bachelor’s Degree
If you want to be a full-fledged Montessori teacher, you’ll need to earn your bachelor’s degree before you even start the program. Although it’s technically possible to get an associate certificate with a high school diploma, this will only qualify you to work as an assistant at most Montessori schools.
Some of the most popular bachelor’s choices for Montessori teachers include Early Childhood Education, Psychology, English, and History. However, because there is no specific degree requirement, there’s nothing wrong with pursuing your passion in school. Later, you’ll be able to show your students the value of getting an education in something you believe in.
Step Two: Complete Teacher Training
In order to teach at a Montessori school, you’ll need to earn a teaching certification from an accredited Montessori institution. Always check the accrediting organization before you sign up for the program; Montessori training institutions are usually accredited by the American Montessori Society or the Association Montessori Internationale.
Montessori teaching certificates usually include a specialized age group. While you’re in school, think about whether you want to teach Early Childhood, Elementary, or Secondary school. Early Childhood programs are more common and offer more consistent employment, but Elementary and Secondary credentials can open up more opportunities for your career.
Step Three: Find a Montessori School
After you’ve graduated with your Montessori certification, you’ll need to find an accredited school to work for. This teaching method is popular across the United States, so you should have no problem finding an institution in the area where you want to live.
Community is an incredibly important part of the Montessori experience. Look for an opening in a part of town that you like, and be prepared to get to know all of your coworkers and the parents of your students. Although your first Montessori job might not be your last, the connections you make now will be important for the rest of your teaching career.
Step Four: Learn from Experience
The Montessori Method is a philosophy and a lifestyle. Although you’ll receive a great education in your teacher training, you should still be prepared to learn and grow throughout the time you spend in the classroom. Every student and situation is different; if you keep your approach flexible, you’ll be amazed at how much you can help them grow and succeed.
Don’t forget to check back in with the academic Montessori community as your career progresses. Attending conferences and taking occasional classes are both great ways to make sure that you’re up-to-date with the latest teaching practices.
Becoming a Montessori teacher isn’t difficult, but it still requires attention, patience, and grit. Always prioritize the success of your students, and remain open to the presence of new ideas. Remember, you’re one of the main role models for your classroom, so always be someone you’d be proud to see your students become.