AMS Teacher Education Instructor Academy: Training to Prepare Future Generations of Montessori Educators

AMS Teacher Education Instructor Academy: Training to Prepare Future Generations of Montessori Educators

Maria Montessori (The 1946 London Lectures, p. 28) once said, “Before we can give help, we must understand…If we can understand, we can help and this must be the plan of our education.” As Montessori guides, it is our task to develop a solid understanding—of the Montessori Method, of the materials, of the child and their development, and of ourselves. But, who helps guides in developing this understanding? Instructors who work in Montessori teacher education programs (TEPs) have this vital task of leading future Montessori classroom educators and administrators.

The American Montessori Society (AMS) has introduced the Instructor Academy (IA), a rigorous, advanced teacher educator course that “invites you to understand the Montessori story more deeply, to become a keeper of that story, and to pass it on to others.” There are two types of cohorts—one for current AMS teacher education program instructors and another for those who want to be instructors but aren’t currently so. Instructor Academy was designed to be respectful of the busy schedules of classroom guides and TEP instructors, taking place over the course of two years. It has two components: 40 weeks of online learning and a practicum phase with field observations divided up over two summers.

The online learning component of the program includes a foundational review of Montessori philosophy and a look into how adults learn and how they should be taught. It is comprised of live and on-demand classes supported by group discussion, readings, and assignments that has been built as a spiral of the Fundamental Tenets of an AMS-Affiliated Teacher Education Program. It will be broken down into six classes, each with four to eight modules. During the practicum phase, students seeking to become instructors will partner with an AMS-affiliated TEP of their choice where they will receive practical experience as a teacher educator. Successful completion of the program culminates with the issuance of an AMS Certificate of Completion of Instructor Academy at the chosen Montessori program level.

Current students of the Academy express the immense value they have found in the program. They describe the rich understanding of andragogy–adult education, the re-instilled connection with the Montessori Method and its materials, and the revitalized passion for their continuous journey as Montessorians that the program has established.

Karen Kashuba, AMS Early Childhood credentialed Montessorian with more than two decades of experience and member of the first cohort for the IA for Early Childhood stated, “As I near the completion of this cohort and my IA certification, I can not only see the transformation in my thought processes and approach to teaching adult learners, but have a renewed and invigorated sense of my own Montessori journey and my continued growth within it.”

Martha Teien, another member of the first cohort for the IA for Early Childhood described her experience in her practicum stating, “I was so excited by the end of day two—my exhaustion was gone!”

Teacher educator Mary Bixler, a member of the first Elementary teacher education cohort, describes how even after involvement in teacher education for almost 40 years, IA has “opened [her] eyes to ways of connecting with those [she is] training, sharing information in new ways, and helping adult learners retain information acquired.” She says she is so glad she took advantage of this wonderful learning experience.

The Academy invites AMS members with a minimum of three years of teaching experience at their credential level who feel called to prepare future generations of Montessori educators, or have already embarked on this journey, to apply.

Applications are now being accepted for the January 2023 Instructor Academy Early Childhood cohort for those who wish to become instructors. 

Current teacher education instructors with Infant Toddler, Early Childhood, and Elementary I and II credentials have until December 16, 2022 to apply.

Apply now and take the next step in your Montessori career learning to educate and inspire future generations of Montessorians.

About the Author

Heather White Montessori Life Blog Author

Heather White, EdS, is a Montessori in-home teacher and nanny, a Montessori educational consultant for the Andrew’s Institute, a Montessori educator for adult learners, and a volunteer moderator for the Montessori at Home 0 – 3 Facebook page. Formerly, she was a Montessori teacher, Lower Elementary coordinator, and associate head of school. She also has experience as a School Psychologist intern. She is AMS credentialed (Early Childhood, Elementary I). Contact her at

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