Becoming a Montessori Educator
Do you have a passion for guiding children and/or adolescents in their self-development? Do you hope to contribute to the betterment of humankind through your work in education? Becoming a Montessori teacher or administrator may be right for you.
This profession, founded on Dr. Maria Montessori’s wisdom about how children grow and learn, can inspire you and enable you to make a meaningful contribution to the lives of children, their families, and your community.
Become a Classroom Teacher
Montessori teachers are conduits between their students and the vast world of knowledge and discovery that surrounds them. Their role is to observe students, identifying their needs and responding with appropriate individualized guidance and instruction. Montessori teachers empower students by establishing trusting, respectful relationships that nurture children’s responsibility and joy in their own learning. Of course these are elements that enable teachers to thrive in the profession, as well.
In the classroom, the Montessori teacher prepares a rich educational environment designed to create natural opportunities for independence, citizenship, and accountability. With the guidance of their teachers, students work to meet rigorous learning objectives and pursue passionate inquiry.
Consider joining the community of highly skilled, specially trained Montessori educators around the world. You’ll learn to combine your creativity and compassion with scientist-like attention and the insight to guide your students to pursue their potential through individualized, developmentally appropriate exploration of their environment.
As a Montessori teacher you will contribute to, and bear witness to, children as they journey toward becoming knowledgeable, kind, and joyful adults. Join us in this important work!
Step Up to Leadership as a School Administrator
Is school leadership your passion? Do you enjoy supporting colleagues as they grow into the most effective educators they can be? Becoming a Montessori school administrator might be your calling. Heads of schools, principals, and program directors provide guidance and oversight to create and maintain vibrant, peaceful school communities. Administrators work with students, staff, and families to nurture harmonious relationships so that schools can operate in accordance with the philosophy and best practices of Montessori.
The Road to Becoming a Montessori Educator
Ready to take the first step? Search for our directory of AMS-affiliated teacher training programs to find the one that meets your needs and interests. As part of your research, don’t be shy about reaching out to directors for more information, and to request a visit or video call. They will be only too happy to answer your questions and help you decide if their programs are a good visit. You might even ask if they can connect you with current enrollees or graduates, and/or arrange for you to see a Montessori classroom in action, so that you may gain a multi-lens perspective.
As a successful graduate of an AMS-affiliated teacher education program, you will be awarded an AMS credential—a highly desirable and marketable indicator of your qualifications as a Montessori educator, which can open doors to job opportunities around the world.
Montessori Credential Levels
Do you enjoy working with very young children? Are 10-year-olds your favorites? Or do you prefer the passionate energy of adolescents? Perhaps you are most interested in supporting the lifelong learning of other adults as an administrator. Montessori teachers can earn credentials at a variety of levels. AMS awards credentials at the following course levels:
- Infant & Toddler (birth – age 3)
- Early Childhood (ages 2 1/2 – 6)
- Elementary I (ages 6 – 9)
- Elementary II (ages 9 – 12)
- Elementary I – II (ages 6 – 12)
- Secondary I (ages 12 – 15)
- Secondary I – II (ages 12 – 18)
To be eligible to earn an AMS credential at an AMS-affiliated teacher education program, you must hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college/university documented in the form of an official original college/university transcript, or its equivalent, as determined by a recognized credential evaluation service.
If you have a Secondary level (high school) diploma, a general equivalency diploma (GED), or the international equivalent, but have not earned a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college/university or its equivalent, you may be eligible for an Associate credential. The Associate credential is available at the Infant & Toddler and Early Childhood levels only. AMS strongly encourages holders of the Associate credential to obtain a bachelor’s degree so that they may upgrade to a Full credential: It will open a world of opportunities.
How Long Will It Take?
Typically, it takes 1 – 2 years to earn an AMS credential. This includes academic hours that take place in person with an instructor, or as a blend of in-person and online experiences. These hours vary by course level and include invigorating classroom discussion as well as hands-on activities. You will create Montessori albums (i.e., teaching manuals for the various curricular areas); read texts and journal articles; write reports; observe students in programs; create a yearlong project; and more. The academic part of the studies usually takes place over the course of 2 summers.
Once your coursework is complete, you will be ready for a practicum—a real-life, yearlong experience with children in a Montessori classroom. Experienced mentors will guide your practice and observe your growth as a professional.
“Being a Montessori guide has influenced every area of my life for the better.”