Montessori teachers are expected to educate and interact with the children throughout the entire school day, taking a lead role in all educational aspects of the classroom. A teacher must work to nurture the whole child – academically, socially and emotionally. Additionally, teachers assess developmental needs according to AMS training guidelines.
Major Tasks and Responsibilities:
- Lead role in the classroom: The Montessori teacher is the guide in the classroom. Associate teachers take their daily direction from the Montessori teachers. A collaborative relationship between all teaching team members is integral in most aspects of the operation of the classroom, however, the Montessori teacher has final decision-making authority in accordance with their Montessori training. Part of the team culture encourages constructive conversations which requires that all on the team be open to growth and maintain a professional demeanor at all times. This is particularly important when receiving or giving feedback. Montessori teachers are expected to consistently act as the respectful, lead role in the classroom with other credentialed co-teachers and to properly train, develop and reinforce responsibilities of the Associate in a respectful and beneficial manner.
- Designing the Environment: The Montessori teacher is responsible for designing a “beautiful”, “orderly”, “prepared” and “simplistic” classroom, bathroom and playground.
- Lessons: The Montessori teacher plans and presents activities clearly and correctly in all areas (Practical Life, Sensorial, Language, Mathematics, Cultural, Geography, Art, Science, Music and Movement) according to AMS training. The Montessori teacher consistently honors the morning and afternoon work blocks and ensures children are learning throughout the day. The Montessori teacher is able to consistently teach one-on-one, with small groups, and large groups.
- Teacher/Child Relationship: The Montessori teacher honors each child’s unique traits and path of development. Additionally, they maintain a professional relationship that ensures every child feels loved and valued. The teacher always models desirable communication habits. This is displayed in their tone, actions and body language. The Montessori teacher always models and reinforces normalized behavior using Positive Discipline techniques. They support children who require additional time or assistance due to behavior or other special needs. The Montessori teacher supports the children to let them “do it by themselves”, assisting only when necessary. The Montessori teacher is adept at using assessment tools and applies the knowledge gained in lesson planning.
- Classroom Management: The Montessori teacher assures the health and safety of the children and knows count/names of children present at all times. The Montessori teacher assures that there is active supervision at all times, both in and out of the classroom environment. The Montessori teacher agrees with and reinforces the classroom rules by setting clear behavior expectations. The Montessori Teacher ensures a daily schedule is utilized that provides the necessary times for uninterrupted learning, meals, rest and social/physical interaction.
- Parent Relations: The Montessori teacher forms effective professional relationships with the parents through timely and appropriate communications. The Montessori teacher maintains confidentiality concerning information about the children, families and job concerns. The Montessori teachers appropriately communicates and partners with parents regarding developmental or behavior issues on a timely basis. The Montessori teacher prepares and plans for effective parent conferences on a scheduled and ad hoc basis.
- Clerical Duties/Material Making: The Montessori teacher observes and records children’s lessons through the use of Transparent Classroom on a daily basis. The Montessori teacher ensures that: emails are answered daily through the designated email accounts, materials are inventoried, new materials are ordered or prepared, and oversees repairs of materials. The Montessori Teacher ensures that appropriate record keeping is done regarding health and safety of children. The Montessori teacher takes the lead role in maintaining student records according to school policy.
Major Skills and Competencies:
- Punctuality/Dependability: Adheres to the schedule for arrival time, lunches; comes to work on days when scheduled.
- Interpersonal skills: Ability to work collaboratively, effectively manage relationships with others, show appreciation and warmth, and display appropriate workplace etiquette.
- Empathy: Understands the emotional makeup of other people (children, parents, coworkers) and can respond appropriately.
- Team Player: Maintains positive working relationships with co-workers; effectively handles interpersonal conflict situations. “Jump in attitude”
- Conflict Management: Seeks to resolve rather than avoid conflict in a productive and respectful manner.
- Personal Accountability: Takes personal responsibility for what occurs in their workplace and on their team; does not place blame.
- Customer Focus: Ability and willingness to provide efficient, quality service to all parents and can communicate effectively.
- Respect for All People: Demonstrates understanding and respect for people of all backgrounds.
- Communication Skills: Ability to listen attentively to others, ask appropriate questions, and use good diplomacy and tact at all times.
- Compliance with regulation: Ability to follow through with policy and procedure (BFTS/Suzuki) to ensure the children and staff are safe at all times.
- Stress Tolerance: Maintains a positive attitude with good self-control; can remain calm and positive in stressful situations.
- Flexibility: Demonstrates flexibility and takes initiative in different classroom; does not shy away from certain tasks.
- Professionalism: Carries self (actions, attire, grooming, etc) in a way that communicates that they view themselves as an educator.
- Self-Development: Is aware of own strengths and weaknesses; initiates action to improve one’s own developmental areas.
- Ability to lead and coach: Can assume a lead role in the classroom and train and reinforce others in a respectful and effective manner.
Physical Job Requirements:
- Montessori Teachers must be able to lift children and other heavy objects throughout the day. The minimum is 35 pounds but can be up to 50 pounds for older children.
- Montessori Teachers must be able to stand for long periods of time throughout the day, bend down and sit on the floor throughout the day, and get up and down with ease throughout the day. In addition, when on the floor, a Montessori teacher must be able to quickly respond to a child needing assistance.
Environmental Job Requirements:
- Montessori Teachers must be able to work in an open classroom environment with co-teachers with viewing windows.
- 21 years of age or older
- Infant-Toddler Classroom: Montessori Certification in Infant-Toddler plus a CDA with relevant experience.
- Early Childhood Classroom: Montessori Certification in Early Childhood Education plus a Bachelor’s Degree.
- Infant-Toddler Classroom: Montessori Certification plus an Associate’s Degree in a related field (Early Childhood Education, Child Development, etc.)
- Early Childhood Classroom: Montessori Certification plus Bachelor’s Degree in a related field (Early Childhood Education, Child Development, etc.)
Alternative Path to Employment (for those who do not currently possess the minimum requirements)
- Partial college: > 60 semester hours: If a candidate has at least 60 semester credits or 90 quarter credits, this is considered equivalent to an Associate’s Degree and meets the guidelines set forth above.
- Partial college: <60 semester hours: If a candidate has less than 60 semester credits or less than 90 quarter credits, this is considered equivalent to a high school degree as described above.
- Faculty Candidates with a CDA, TCC, TCD or anything less than an Associates Degree: Individuals with a credential that is less course work than an Associate’s Degree only can be considered for an Infant/Toddler faculty position on a case by case basis ONLY if the individual has strongly and consistently demonstrated the competencies listed for the position. They cannot be considered for an Early Childhood faculty position.
- Faculty Candidates with High School Degree only: If a candidate has a high school degree with substantial experience, a candidate can work as a substitute until CDA coursework is completed and submitted. If they meet the requirements for faculty candidates with a CDA they are eligible to be considered for the InfantToddler program only.
- Candidates with certain specialized credentials that meet or exceed the minimum credentials need to be evaluated closely for long term fit
- Those contemplating advanced degrees (Masters, etc.)
- Individuals with a degree in educational leadership or comparable who want to transition to a leadership position