A Montessori school offers child-centered education based on peer learning through multiple age groups, uninterrupted work time and special Montessori educational materials. Becoming a Montessori teacher typically involves special training in this educational method, which was developed by Italian physician and educator Dr. Maria Montessori.
Basic Credential Requirements
To be a fully credentialed Montessori school teacher, you'll need at least a bachelor's degree. If you only have a high school diploma, you can still get an associate credential that will qualify you to teach infants and toddlers and participate in early childhood education. Before signing up for a Montessori credential program, make sure it's recognized by the American Montessori Society, the Association Montessori Internationale or a training center that's recognized by the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education Commission.
Types of Teacher Education Programs
To become a Montessori teacher, you'll need to attend an accredited teacher education program. These are available in two forms: The first is an independent training school that might also have dual credit options, so some classes can be used toward a bachelor's or master's degree. The second is a teacher-training program hosted by a university. Both programs require tuition payments and include classes and practical experience. Through these programs, you'll learn how to use the Montessori method in teaching infants, toddlers, preschool and older children.
Graduating from a Teacher Education Program
You don't need a particular background to get into a Montessori teacher education program, as long as you have a college degree. In limited cases, you can participate in the program and get a provisional certificate until you complete your college degree requirements. The program will last at least a year or it will be divided into two or more summers of intensive training. After completing the course of study, students take part in a yearlong student-teaching job. Once you graduate, you can look for jobs by contacting local Montessori schools or through online employment centers, such as the one at the American Montessori Society's website.
Montessori Teaching Salary
Montessori teachers' salaries depend greatly on the region where they're teaching, along with their education and experience. According to the North American Montessori Teachers' Association, as of 2014, preschool Montessori teachers with no experience make $21,000 to $24,000 a year. An elementary school Montessori teacher who has a bachelor's degree and works in a private school makes about $25,000 to $30,000 for a nine-month school year. If a Montessori teacher works in a public school, his salary range will be slightly higher, around $29,000 to $31,000 a year.
- American Montessori Society: Introduction to Montessori
- American Montessori Society: Become a Montessori Teacher or Administrator
- Castle Montessori: Becoming a Certified Montessori Teacher
- American Montessori Society: AMS-Affiliated Teacher Education Programs
- Montessori Foundation: Teacher Education
- North American Montessori Teachers' Association: Expected Earnings
- American Montessori Society: Find Employment
- Photo Credit TongRo Images/TongRo Images/Getty Images
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