The main goal of the MCMS Early Childhood Teacher Certification Program is to help interested individuals become effective Montessori teachers.
The program focuses on the spiritual preparation of teachers as well as on the importance of the prepared environment. We hope to instill in students a deep respect for children and a sensitivity to their inner needs and styles of learning.
The program content includes Montessori philosophy, theories of child development, the use of didactic materials, early childhood curricula, observation and record keeping, classroom management, science, geography and multicultural education.
To achieve the program’s goals and objectives, students should be able to demonstrate:
- Awareness of the Montessori philosophy as applied to children 2 1/2 to 6
- An ability to be a trained observer
- An ability to perceive children’s needs and different styles of learning
- Knowledge of human development
- An ability to prepare an environment which maximizes the child’s cognitive, physical, social, and emotional growth
- Awareness of strategies for good classroom management incorporating Montessori’s philosophy of education for peace
- Practical ability in using Montessori materials
- The importance of developing good communication skills with children’s parents and families
In order to better accommodate the needs of our students, we offer an evening program. During the first year, students attend evening classes twice a week. The following year, students begin their internship phase and attend four weekend seminars.
YEAR 1: Academic Phase Begins: Lecture/Course Work = 320 hours
Evening classes: Tuesday and Thursday, 6:00-9:00 p.m. (September through June excluding holiday and vacation days. 192 hours are completed during the first year)
YEAR 2: Internship phase: Student teaching in an approved Montessori School = 640 hours
Four weekend seminars—June, October, January and April; 30 hours of field observations (Seminars and field observations complete the required 320 hours)
In addition to the academic program, all students are required to complete a minimum of 640 hours of classroom work under the supervision of a certified Montessori teacher in an approved school. It is the student’s responsibility to find an internship site approved by MCMS and affiliated with AMS unless a request showing sufficient cause for an exception is made to and granted by AMS. Applicants are asked to provide internship information on their application. A list of names of participating schools and potential internship sites is available from MCMS upon request. It is suggested that the student has an intern site selected before the summer academic phase begins. The internship may not preclude the academic phase of the program. The student must work with children 2 1/2 to 6 years of age and must not assume full responsibility for the class. The internship is based on four hours daily, five days a week for a full academic year. Waivers for a self-directed internship must be approved by the Program Director and the Vice President for Professional Development of the American Montessori Society.
Students will be observed and evaluated three times annually by an MCMS staff member or a consultant approved by the MCMS. Students serving a self-directed internship will be observed six times during the academic year. Students will be graded on their ability to integrate Montessori theory and methodology, child development principles, observation, instructional and classroom management techniques, and preparation of environment. If an intern receives an unsatisfactory evaluation, one or more additional observations will be scheduled by the field supervisor to review progress. Every effort will be made by MCMS to provide the additional support that may be needed. If another site is suggested, it will be the responsibility of the intern to make those arrangements.
The requirements for graduation include attendance for all scheduled hours (both required classes and practice teaching sessions); satisfactory completion of all oral, practical and written examinations; satisfactory completion of the internship; and fulfillment of all assignments and financial obligations to the MCMS.