Last month we discussed what it takes to begin to be a Montessori certified teacher; this month we are examining the second part of Montessori training – the practicum. Two of The Glen’s Birth-to-Three teachers are wrapping up this part of their training and will soon become fully certified.
Childcare professionals in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania are required to have nine credit hours from an accredited college or university in early childhood education or child development or equivalent experience. Montessori certified Birth to Three teachers, go far beyond that minimum, usually with a college degree and two additional years of child development expertise focused on our youngest students at the most sensitive age of development and learning.
Much like the teachers we featured last month, Ms. Angela and Ms. Trish began their Montessori training with a residency program. Ms. Angela, who already held a Bachelors Degree in psychology and Ms. Trish, who holds teaching certifications in Elementary Education and a Masters Degree in Special Education, began at The Center for Guided Montessori Studies (CGMS) in Chantilly, Virginia last summer. Since that time, they have been participating in a weekly online class, and approximately three-five additional hours of lectures, videos, course work reading and writing assignments—all focused on the unique developmental needs of infants through three years of age. This is all time that is above and beyond their teaching responsibilities at school each day, filling weekends and evenings with their own school work and on their own time.
In addition, over the course of their training, Ms. Angela and Ms. Trish are working on their Album, or some schools call it a portfolio. This includes the creation of demonstration videos, the creation of Montessori Materials and documenting the prepared environments that are created in their classroom. Finally, they develop two case studies, documenting each child’s developmental journey over the course of the full 18 months. They closely observe the sensitive periods—when infants are open to a particular gross motor skill or a toddler is fascinated by counting—and document the adaption of the environment to encourage that interest to maximize learning.
Both teachers are supervised closely by an experienced Montessorian on The Glen’s faculty and are visited frequently by a field consultant from CGMS that observes their presentation in the classroom and provides perspective and guidance.
In a childcare or early childhood educational setting, it is rare to find child development professionals with the depth and breadth of training that Ms. Angela and Ms. Trish have achieved. At The Glen, however, their degree of training is typical. All of our Montessori certified Birth to Three teachers have a similar educational background and professional expertise.