Montessori Teacher: Education, Salary, and Outlook
The Montessori method of education is aimed at allowing children to self-direct their own learning. Instead of traditional teaching methods, it incorporates hands-on learning and collaborative play in the classroom, which is guided by a teacher who is specifically trained in the Montessori method. This teacher, the Montessori teacher, is responsible for providing their students with a plethora of age-appropriate activities for their students to engage in.
Montessori teachers require specialized training and certifications in order to be qualified to teach students. Additionally, they require a degree in early childhood education. Montessori teachers typically work the same schedule as a traditional teacher, with occasional overtime during the school year and several weeks off during the summer. Employment is typically full-time.
At a glance: Montessori teacher
The Montessori method has been gaining popularity among parents in recent years, meaning that the need for teachers with experience in this specialized teaching method is on the rise. If working in early childhood education is your ultimate career goal, you may wish to consider specializing in the Montessori method.
Job description: Montessori teacher
Teaching students ranging in age from one to 12, the Montessori teacher is responsible for providing guidance in a classroom that offers self-directed learning. They need to spend time monitoring each student, assessing their learning, and ensuring each child’s individual needs are met. Montessori teachers focus on planning lessons that develop their student’s social, intellectual, emotional, and fine-motor skills. Montessori schools rely on their teachers to create nurturing classrooms that offer students several stimulating, engaging activities throughout the school day. Typically, a Montessori teacher’s list of duties includes:
- Developing lesson plans, as well as independent and group learning activities
- Acting as a positive role model for students, building trusting relationships and demonstrating honesty, accountability, and respect
- Maintaining a safe, clean classroom
- Monitoring and assessing student progress through testing and observation
- Meeting with parents on a regular basis to discuss student successes and attitudes
- Keeping the classroom stocked with necessary supplies and making sure all equipment is in good repair
What are the qualities of a good Montessori teacher?
Montessori teachers share the same positive qualities as other early childhood education teachers. They’re patient, kind, and understanding. They also have a passion for the Montessori method and alternative education. Additional qualities shared by Montessori teachers include:
- Excellent observational skills
- Highly developed oral and written communication skills
- An ability to spot and diagnose learning disabilities in children
- A passion for lifelong learning
- Upstanding moral values
Montessori teachers in-depth
Education requirements for Montessori teachers
Montessori teachers require a bachelor’s degree before they can earn their Montessori certification. Either a bachelor of arts or a bachelor of science is acceptable. A major in education or a related discipline is preferred.
Certifications for Montessori teachers
In addition to a bachelor’s degree, Montessori teachers need to complete training at an accredited Montessori center. Upon successful completion, they receive an official Montessori certification.
Average salaries for Montessori teachers
Montessori teachers’ salaries vary depending on the age of children they teach, the hours they work, and the location of the school that employs them. According to PayScale.com, the average teacher with Montessori certification earns $40,000 per year, the same salary as an early childhood educator. ZipRecruiter reports that Montessori teachers earn between $20,000 and $47,500 per year, with the average sitting at $34,621.
Potential career growth for Montessori teachers
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) monitors and reports on growth and change in a variety of industries and jobs throughout the U.S. Although it doesn’t specifically report on Montessori teachers, it does predict an above-average growth in opportunities for those seeking employment as an early education teacher. By the year 2028, the BLS expects a 7% increase in the job outlook for this position.
Pros and cons of becoming a Montessori teacher
Montessori teachers have the opportunity to enrich the lives of the children they work with. Their job is fulfilling, and the connections they make with their students are incredibly meaningful. However, an irregular work schedule can sometimes negatively affect income.
- You get to spend your day helping children learn.
- The relationships you build with your students and their families are special.
- You play an active role in the growth and development of your students.
- The Montessori method encompasses learning through play, meaning that you often get to spend your day playing and having fun with your students.
- The curriculum in Montessori schools is less strict than with traditional learning, which means you have the chance to play a bigger role in developing your students’ lesson plans and activities.
- Depending upon where you live, there may not be a large market for this type of education, limiting your job opportunities.
- Observation is a big part of your job, and since you’re working with younger children, you can’t let your guard down at all.
- If your students aren’t successful, parents and school administrators may hold you responsible.
Professional development opportunities for Montessori teachers
Organizations such as the North American Montessori Teachers Association (NAMTA) offer annual conferences and regular workshops and professional development opportunities for Montessori teachers throughout the year. These conferences take place in different cities across North America each year and provide teachers with the opportunity to meet peers and enhance their interpersonal and professional skills in courses, workshops, and demonstrations.
Professional associations for Montessori teachers
There are many organizations across the U.S. and North America that support the unique needs and career goals of Montessori teachers. These include:
- North American Montessori Teachers Association
- International Montessori Association
- Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education
- Pan American Montessori Society
- American Montessori Society
- Montessori Institute of America
- Montessori Education Programs International
- International Montessori Council
Best of the web: Montessori teachers
Montessori teachers can use the web to find new teaching techniques, strategies for working with challenging students, and connections with peers who work in the same industry. Resources include the professional associations listed above, as well as the blogs and social media accounts of other professionals who work or have worked in Montessori education. The connections Montessori teachers make online using these resources can be invaluable in their careers, and while they nearly always lead to a supportive relationship with a peer, they can also lead to bigger and better career opportunities down the road.
Montessori teacher blogs
- Age of Montessori
- Beautiful Sun Montessori
- Discovery Kidzone
- Education by Design
- Inspired Montessori
- Let It Be Montessori
Montessori teacher twitter accounts
- Mary Lee Hahn: @maryleehahn
- Dena Simmons: @DenaSimmons
- Montessori Teacher Training Academy: @mttaindia
- Let Me Shine: @2TLMShine
- Michelle Haseltine: @Mhaseltine