Have you been considering a career as a Montessori teacher? If you believe in the importance of engaging children in hands-on learning and teaching them to be independent and creative thinkers, then a career in Montessori education certainly sounds like a good match for you.
Understanding exactly what you’ll need to do in order to be qualified to become a Montessori guide may feel a bit overwhelming. There are so many different classes and certifications for different types of teachers, but what should you focus on to pursue your dream of becoming a Montessori teacher?
If you also think that a teacher should first of all teach children a practical skill for life, then our post is exactly for you!
It’s all about practical life skills! They enhance our independence and help guide us through real life situations. We can’t forget about math and puzzles though! Solving problems is also part of our daily life. #belltower #Montessori pic.twitter.com/Wf9cnl9WXo
— Belltower Montessori (@BelltowerMontes) February 11, 2022
If you’d like to learn more about becoming a Montessori teacher to decide if it is the right career choice for you, continue reading. In this article, I’ll share:
- The top reasons to become a Montessori guide
- Things Montessori teacher do differently than other teachers
- The requirements for how to become a Montessori teacher
- How to get a job as a Montessori guide
9 Reasons to Become a Montessori Teacher
If you’re reading this article, you probably already have a list of reasons why you are interested in becoming a Montessori guide.
If you consider yourself a Montessorian and strongly believe in the teachings of Maria Montessori, then this may be the right career choice for you.
Here are a few other reasons to consider becoming a Montessori guide:
1. Joy of Watching Children Learn
The feeling of watching a student engage in learning really can’t be beat. As a Montessori teacher, every day you’ll get to observe your students exploring, experimenting, and learning new concepts.
2. Seeing Children Gain Confidence as They Learn New Concepts and Teach Themselves
Your role as a Montessori guide will be different from that of a traditional educator. You’ll be offering guidance, but really the students will be doing a lot of the teaching for themselves. You’ll notice that your students’ gaining more self-confidence as they realize how truly capable they are – and this is a truly wonderful feeling.
3. Respecting Each Individual Child
Maria Montessori’s teachings emphasized the importance of respecting each individual child. She explained that teachers should follow the special gifts and behaviors of the child to help them best learn and meet their potential. If you believe that teaching is less about you and more about each individual child, you may strongly agree with this sentiment and feel at home in a Montessori classroom.
4. Cultivating a Love of Learning
Traditional classrooms don’t work for all students and can turn some students off from the desire to learn new things. In a Montessori classroom, students get to lead the way and spend their time doing the things that are most interesting and appealing to them. This can help them develop a love of learning that will serve them well throughout their life.
5. Having a Fulfilling Job
If you want to have a job that you enjoy and will make you feel like you’re making a real difference, then that is definitely another reason to consider becoming a Montessori guide. As the days and months progress, you’ll notice so many positive changes in your students and be able to watch first hand as they grow, develop, and mature.
6. Relatively Easy to Become Certified
Compared to other professions, it isn’t too difficult to become a Montessori guide. You’ll need to complete your undergraduate degree and then attend a Montessori training center. You’ll receive plenty of guidance to help you feel confident to take on a teaching role in a Montessori classroom.
7. High Demand for Montessori Teachers
Currently, there is a very high demand for Montessori guides. This means that once you complete your certification program, finding a job should be relatively easily.
8. Room for Career Advancement
Once you get hired as a Montessori guide, there will also be room for career advancement. After gaining some experience, you could move up to a position as a head teacher or even consider a career in Montessori administration.
9. Tuition Discounts for Your Children
If you have your own children now, or plan to have children in the future, you may receive tuition discounts if they attend the Montessori center where you teach. This can add up to big savings over the many years of schooling for each child.
7 Things Montessori Teachers Do Differently
Once you’ve observed the day in a life of a Montessori guide, it should be pretty clear that Montessori teachers do things differently than other teachers.
In fact, Montessori teachers go by a different name. They are primarily referred to as guides, rather than teachers. This should give you a bit of a sense of how their role is different from that of a traditional teacher.
Here are a few key things that Montessori teachers do differently than most other teachers.
1. Create and Guide Hands-On Learning Activities
As we’ve shared, Montessori educations emphasizes interactive, hands-on learning. As a Montessori guide, you’ll enjoy creating and organizing the materials that your students will need to engage in these learning experiences.
2. Modify Each Learning Experience to Meet the Individuals Needs of Your Students
While traditional educators do try to differentiate their lessons for each learner, nothing can quite compare to the individualized experiences of Montessori learners. Since each student is in control of their learning, you’ll get to work with them on a one-on-one basis to make sure their needs are being met and that they are reaching their potential.
3. Work With Students of Different Ages
A Montessori classroom may contain multiple age groups, compared to a grade-level classroom where all students are about the same age. This will provide you with more flexibility when grouping your students and working with them on various concepts. Students who are ready for more advanced concepts can work with other students ready for the same, while those who need a little extra practice will also have a group of peers to work with.
4. Guide Students to Reach Their Potential
Another thing that Montessori guides do differently is to play the essential role of a guide for each child. Montessori teachers offer the support needed to help each child reach their full potential.
5. Continuously Observe Students and the Classroom Environment
An important part of your job will also be to observe your students. This will help you to learn what each child is interested in and what other learning opportunities you should provide for them. Then, you can decide to plan lessons with your interactive whiteboard, pull out various math manipulatives, or materials to conduct different science experiments. (You can learn more about interactive whiteboards in this article).
6. Step Back
While traditional educators are constantly working with students, part of your role as a Montessori guide is to step back and make sure the students are in charge of their own learning. Providing some guidance is important, but you want to leave the ‘hard’ work of learning up to the students.
7. Spend More Time Outside
As a Montessori teacher, you’ll also be able to spend more time outside with your students to guide them as they learn about nature. You can plan fun outdoor field trips or even just take them outside the learning center. Since you’ll be spending more time outside, you may want to consider looking for a voice amplifier to help your students to hear you clearly. You can read more about the best voice amplifiers for teachers in this article.
Montessori Teacher Requirements
Just as there are various requirements you’ll need to meet to become a general education or SDC teacher, there are also key requirements that will need to be complete before you can become a Montessori guide. (If you’d like to learn more about what an SDC teacher is, you can click here).
As you already know, the approach and beliefs of Montessori education are quite different from those of general education. Thus, to become a Montessori guide, you will need extensive training with Montessori practices.
In most cases, before you’ll be able to sign up for a specific Montessori teacher training program, you’ll first need to receive a college degree in the field of education. Though, depending on where you live, this isn’t always a prerequisite to becoming a Montessori guide.
The next step is to become certified as a Montessori teacher. For this, you’ll need to find a training program specifically designed for Montessori guides.
During your training, you’ll deeply explore all the Montessori teaching principles and philosophies and take an in-depth look at child development and psychology.
You will also need to choose an area of certification. Montessori guides can teach students of all ages, so you’ll need to choose your preferred age group to receive the appropriate training and skills.
With Montessori education, the certification areas commonly include:
- Infants and Toddlers
- Early Childhood
- Elementary I
- Elementary II
- Elementary I and II
- Montessori administration
Look for a training program offered by a reputable institution. Not only will this help you appear more qualified when you’re ready to apply for a job, but it will also ensure that you receive adequate training that will set you up for success when you’re ready to become a Montessori teacher.
How to Become a Montessori Teacher
Now that you know the prerequisites you’ll need to complete before becoming a Montessori guide, let’s discuss the steps you should take when you’re ready to get hired.
When you’re thinking about how to become a Montessori teacher, start by putting in an application at any centers that you know are hiring.
Even if there is one particular center you would like to work at, it is best to apply for multiple positions. Putting all of your eggs into one basket is never a good idea when applying for any job, and being a Montessori guide is no different.
The more places you apply and interview, the greater the chances are that you will get hired. Multiple interviews will also give you more practice in answering questions and highlighting why you are the best candidate for the job.
Before heading to an interview, ask a close friend or family member to conduct a mock interview with you. Prepare a list of questions for them to ask you focusing on Montessori education, how you plan to keep your class organized, and how you will demonstrate your commitment to your students.
For each real interview you have, be sure to bring along your resume, certification proof, references, and work samples/pictures from your practicum.
Finally, remember that it isn’t always easy to get hired as a Montessori guide. You may not get a call back from your first interviews.
Be persistent and continue looking for opportunities. If you don’t land your dream job your first year, look for other open positions at a Montessori center where you can demonstrate your skills and make yourself seem like the right hire if an opening comes up in the future.
One additional tip to consider: when you’re completing your degree and Montessori certification, consider looking for opportunities to volunteer in a Montessori classroom. Volunteer experience can make you a more desirable candidate for the position, help you form connections that will help you land a job, and help you to feel more confident when you get hired.
- Montessori teacher resume examples
- Exploring the pros and cons of Montessori education
- Montessori: philosophy, education & the method
What do you think? Are you ready to pursue a career as a Montessori guide? Do you see yourself guiding your young learners as they learn and explore? Now that you know how to become a Montessori teacher, use the advice shared above to put a plan in place to reach this goal!