Are you passionate about individualized education and looking to make a career out of your love for teaching? Montana Montessori teachers have the ability to do just that while encouraging children to be lifelong learners. Here, we explore the steps needed to become a certified Montessori teacher in the state of Montana.
Montana's Montessori Teacher Requirements
|Average Salary for Montessori Teachers in Montana (2016)*||$27,500 (Preschool)
|Required Degree||Bachelor's or higher for a full Montessori credential; high school diploma for an associate credential (infant, toddler, and early childhood levels only)|
*U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree
An accredited bachelor's degree is required to become a fully credentialed Montessori teacher. The degree can be in any field. If a prospective Montessori teacher is looking to earn an associate credential at the infant & toddler level or the early childhood level, only a high school diploma is necessary. Once the education requirement is fulfilled, prospective teachers must complete a Montessori teacher certification program.
Step 2: Complete a Montessori Training Program
There are two different accredited organizations in the state of Montana that offer Montessori certification to prospective teachers at the early childhood or elementary level. Programs are accredited by the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE).
Option 1: Age of Montessori
Age of Montessori offers options for both early childhood and elementary certification. The elementary certification is offered for two age ranges: 6-9 and 6-12. In order to earn any of these certifications, students must participate in an online distance program over the course of 8 months that provides a thorough theoretical education in the Montessori Method. Then, students attend an in-person residency in Bozeman for 2-4 weeks during which they observe teachers in a classroom setting. Finally, a prospective teacher will spend 9 months - a full school year - interning for 5 half-days a week at a Montessori school in his or her area. The tuition for the early childhood education program is $7,920, whereas the elementary education program is $7,130 for the 6-9 age range or $10,335 for the 6-12 age range.
Option 2: Montana Montessori Teacher Education Institute (MMTEI)
The MMTEI offers a certification program in early childhood education. Prospective teachers are required to take the following three online classes offered through Flathead Valley Community College:
- Montessori Philosophy and Foundations of Early Childhood Development Part 1
- Montessori Classroom Leadership
- Montessori Philosophy and Foundations of Early Childhood Development Part 2
Upon completion of these classes, students must attend a 4-week onsite summer session in Kalispell. This session includes speakers and introductions to the curriculum. Once this session is complete, one additional weekend workshop must be attended during the school year. Finally, students must complete 540 hours as teaching interns in a Montessori classroom and participate in regular evaluations. The total tuition for this program is $3,830 plus $1,200-2,000 for the community college courses.
Step 3: Get Certified to Teach
Once a Montessori prep program has been completed, teachers must meet a few other requirements that vary by program. Age of Montessori mandates that students complete a practical exam either in person or through Skype. Similarly, the MMTEI requires an oral exam on Montessori materials, written exams on Montessori principles, and the presentation of a year-long research project to be completed during the aforementioned 540 required internship hours. After the respective requirements have been completed, students are fully certified and ready to be placed into a Montessori school.