Education and Training Professional Diploma
Average Salary – $17,000 – $21,000
Job Outlook – Good
A Montessori teacher is a professional in the field of education. They help children to learn using the methods developed by Maria Montessori. The Montessori method encourages teachers to observe children engaging in natural discovery. The teacher should then guide and encourage each child’s individual learning style, rather than lead and impose expectations of how and what the children should learn. Montessori teachers typically work with children aged between 0 and 12 years old. A Montessori class will learn multiple subjects within the same environment and during the same session of learning. These learning sessions are usually three hours long and are followed by group activities.
Education and Training Requirements
There are no specific requirements at either the high school or college level of study for someone seeking to become a Montessori teacher. Due to the broad nature of the curriculum taught in Montessori schools a diverse range of college and high school courses would be suitable for a potential teacher.
Different institutions representing the Montessori philosophy differ in the prerequisite level of study needed to undertake their accredited diplomas. Some diplomas require a Bachelor’s degree while others do not. Montessori diplomas are available which focus on equipping teachers with the skills needed to educate children of a specific age range. For example, one diploma may focus on teaching children between the ages of 0 and 3, while another focuses on children between ages 3 and 6.
The subjects found in a diploma typically include sensory and musical development, basic language skills such as phonetics, culture, and science subjects that are likely to engage youngsters, practical life skills and simple mathematics. What sets the Montessori approach apart from others is not so much the content of the curriculum, rather its means of delivery and overall philosophical approach. The diploma is often studied for in a distance learning format.
Getting the Job
A potential teacher will need to show the school they are applying to that they are a caring and nurturing individual who will be a positive role model for children. This will typically be demonstrated in the job interview. Many schools also offer potential teachers a trial session with a class. A work background in the field of education or childcare is desirable but not necessary.
Job Prospects, Employment Outlook and Career Development
The job prospects for Montessori teachers are good due to the rising popularity of the Montessori philosophy. This is due to research which shows it is a very successful way to improve a child’s all around intelligence, encourage their natural curiosity, and instill a sense of morality at a young age. Montessori-taught children tend to show high levels of self-esteem. Unlike many industries, people do not typically become Montessori teachers in order to achieve a series of promotions. While it is possible to advance into an administrative role, many teachers feel their job is a calling and are happy to remain in it. One popular way of increasing levels of income as a Montessori teacher is to own a Montessori school as a business venture.
Working Conditions and Environment
The working environment for a Montessori teacher is a Montessori school classroom. These are less formally structured than traditional classrooms and are set up to encourage creative thinking and independent discovery. Teachers will work alongside the children they teach as well as fellow teachers. This job may occasionally include field trips. A full time teacher will work typical school hours Monday to Friday. The working day may be shorter than an average school day depending on the ages of the children being taught. Montessori teachers will have school vacation periods, holidays, as well as weekends off. Although not considered stressful, the job does require a high level of responsibility.
Salary and Benefits
The starting salary for a newly qualified Montessori teacher is generally around $17,000-$19,000 per year. This will rise slightly over the course of a career but not significantly. Financially ambitious teachers are able to increase their level of income by moving into administration or by starting their own school. Teachers will typically have long vacations at the same time as the students e.g. Spring and Summer break. Health coverage is often offered to teachers.
Where to go for more information
AMI/USA, Association Montessori International/USA
410 Alexander St.
Rochester, NY 14607
Phone: (585) 461-5920
Toll free: (800) 872-2643
Fax: (585) 461-0075
AMS, The American Montessori Society
281 Park Ave. S
New York, NY 10010
Phone: (212) 35801250
Fax: (212) 358-1256
NAMTA, North American Montessori Teachers’ Association
13693 Butternut Rd.
Burton, Ohio 44021
Phone: (440) 834-4011
Fax: (440) 834-4016