Montessori school teacher

Montessori school teacher article illustration


Montessori school teachers educate students using approaches that reflect the Montessori philosophy and principles developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, an Italian physician and educator. They focus on constructivist and “learning through discovery” teaching models, through which they encourage students to learn from first-hand experience rather than through direct instruction and thus provide them with a relatively high level of freedom. They adhere to a specific curriculum that respects the students’ natural, physical, social, and psychological development.

Montessori school teachers also teach classes with students differing up to three years in age in rather large groups, manage, and evaluate all the students separately according to the Montessori school philosophy.

Includes people working in institutions at other education levels.

Here are some of the typical duties performed by Montessoru school teachers:

  • Create a well-organized and aesthetically pleasing learning environment with age-appropriate materials that facilitate independent exploration and discovery.
  • Regularly observe students to understand their interests, strengths, and areas for development, and provide individualized learning experiences accordingly.
  • Facilitate child-led activities, allowing students to choose from a variety of learning materials and engage in activities at their own pace.
  • Integrate practical life activities into the curriculum to develop independence, fine motor skills, and a sense of responsibility.
  • Provide sensorial experiences that engage the senses and promote the development of perception, discrimination, and cognitive abilities.
  • Introduce language and mathematical concepts through hands-on materials, fostering a deep understanding of abstract concepts.
  • Explore cultural studies, including geography, history, and science, through interactive and interdisciplinary activities.
  • Promote social and emotional development by incorporating peace education principles, conflict resolution, and fostering a sense of community.
  • Maintain open communication with parents, providing insights into their child’s progress and involving them in the educational journey.
  • Encourage outdoor play, nature exploration, and environmental awareness as integral parts of the learning experience.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to Montessori school teacher:

Montessori assistant to infancy
Montessori multi-age classroom teacher
Montessori educator
Montessori teacher
mulit-age classroom teacher
Montessori elementary teacher
composite class Montessori teacher
Montessori primary teacher
teacher in a Montessori school
Montessori school instructor
Montessori school teaching practitioner

Working conditions

Montessori school teachers work in Montessori schools, which can range from early childhood programs to elementary levels. The classroom environment is designed to support the Montessori philosophy, with a focus on independence, collaboration, and hands-on learning. Teachers often work closely with colleagues, parents, and administrators to create a holistic learning experience.

Minimum qualifications

To become a Montessori school teacher, a bachelor’s degree in education or a related field is generally required. Montessori teacher training programs, which may lead to a Montessori certification, are essential for understanding and implementing the Montessori philosophy effectively. Practical experience gained through student teaching, internships, or employment in Montessori environments contributes to the development of effective Montessori school teachers. Continuous engagement in Montessori education communities, attending workshops, and staying updated on best practices in child-centered learning are essential for success in this educational approach.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Montessori school teacher is a Skill level 4 occupation.

Montessori school teacher career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to Montessori school teacher.

Freinet school teacher
early years teacher
Steiner school teacher
early years special educational needs teacher
primary school teacher

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of Montessori school teacher.

  • Montessori teaching principles: The teaching and developmental methods and philosophy of Maria Montessori, an Italian physician and educator. These principles involve learning concepts by working with materials and encouraging students to learn from their own discoveries, and is also known as the constructionist teaching model.
  • Assessment processes: Various evaluation techniques, theories, and tools applicable in the assessment of students, participants in a programme, and employees. Different assessment strategies such as initial, formative, summative and self-assessment are used for varying purposes.
  • Children’s physical development: Recognise and describe the development, observing the following criteria: weight, length, and head size, nutritional requirements, renal function, hormonal influences on development, response to stress, and infection.
  • Learning difficulties: The learning disorders some students face in an academic context, especially Specific Learning Difficulties such as dyslexia, dyscalculia, and concentration deficit disorders.
  • Montessori philosophy: The principles and values of the Montessori ideology focusing on the foundations of independence, freedom, natural spirituality, and the different planes of human development processes.
  • Montessori learning equipment: The special materials used by Montessori teachers in their classes for training students, more specifically equipment for developing several abilities consisting of sensorial equipment, mathematical equipment, language materials, and cosmic equipment.
  • Teamwork principles: The cooperation between people characterised by a unified commitment to achieving a given goal, participating equally, maintaining open communication, facilitating effective usage of ideas etc.
  • Curriculum objectives: The goals identified in curricula and defined learning outcomes.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of Montessori school teacher.

  • Manage children’s problems: Promote the prevention, early detection, and management of children`s problems, focusing on developmental delays and disorders, behavioural problems, functional disabilities, social stresses, mental disorders including depression, and anxiety disorders.
  • Guarantee students’ safety: Ensure all students falling under an instructor or other person’s supervision are safe and accounted for. Follow safety precautions in the learning situation.
  • Apply montessori teaching strategies: Instruct students using Montessori teaching approaches, such as non-structural learning through the use of specially developed learning materials, and encouraging students to explore and learn concepts through discovery.
  • Prepare lesson content: Prepare content to be taught in class in accordance with curriculum objectives by drafting exercises, researching up-to-date examples etc.
  • Assess the development of youth: Evaluate the different aspects of development needs of children and young people.
  • Observe student’s progress: Follow up on students’ learning progress and assess their achievements and needs.
  • Manage student relationships: Manage the relations between students and between student and teacher. Act as a just authority and create an environment of trust and stability.
  • Support the positiveness of youths: Help children and young people to assess their social, emotional and identity needs and to develop a positive self-image, enhance their self-esteem and improve their self-reliance.
  • Adapt teaching to student’s capabilities: Identify the learning struggles and successes of students. Select teaching and learning strategies that support students’ individual learning needs and goals.
  • Apply teaching strategies: Employ various approaches, learning styles, and channels to instruct students, such as communicating content in terms they can understand, organising talking points for clarity, and repeating arguments when necessary. Use a wide range of teaching devices and methodologies appropriate to the class content, the learners’ level, goals, and priorities.
  • Maintain students’ discipline: Make sure students follow the rules and code of behaviour established in the school and take the appropriate measures in case of violation or misbehaviour.
  • Prepare youths for adulthood: Work with children and young people to identify the skills and abilities they will need to become effective citizens and adults and to prepare them for independence.
  • Implement care programmes for children: Perform activities with children according to their physical, emotional, intellectual and social needs by using appropriate tools and equipment that facilitate interaction and learning activities.
  • Assess students: Evaluate the students’ (academic) progress, achievements, course knowledge and skills through assignments, tests, and examinations. Diagnose their needs and track their progress, strengths, and weaknesses. Formulate a summative statement of the goals the student achieved.
  • Assist students with equipment: Provide assistance to students when working with (technical) equipment used in practice-based lessons and solve operational problems when necessary.
  • Assist in children’s development of basic personal skills: Encourage and facilitate the development of children’s natural curiosity and social and language abilities through creative and social activities such as storytelling, imaginative play, songs, drawing, and games.
  • Support children’s wellbeing: Provide an environment that supports and values children and helps them to manage their own feelings and relationships with others.
  • Teach kindergarten class content: Instruct pre-primary students in basic learning principles, in preparation for future formal learning. Teach them the principles of certain basic subjects such as number, letter, and colour recognition, days of the week, and the categorisation of animals and vehicles.
  • Demonstrate when teaching: Present to others examples of your experience, skills, and competences that are appropriate to specific learning content to help students in their learning.
  • Give constructive feedback: Provide founded feedback through both criticism and praise in a respectful, clear, and consistent manner. Highlight achievements as well as mistakes and set up methods of formative assessment to evaluate work.
  • Perform classroom management: Maintain discipline and engage students during instruction.
  • Provide lesson materials: Ensure that the necessary materials for teaching a class, such as visual aids, are prepared, up-to-date, and present in the instruction space.
  • Assist students in their learning: Support and coach students in their work, give learners practical support and encouragement.
  • Apply intercultural teaching strategies: Ensure that the content, methods, materials and the general learning experience is inclusive for all students and takes into account the expectations and experiences of learners from diverse cultural backgrounds. Explore individual and social stereotypes and develop cross-cultural teaching strategies.
  • Encourage students to acknowledge their achievements: Stimulate students to appreciate their own achievements and actions to nurture confidence and educational growth.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of Montessori school teacher. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Workplace sanitation: The importance of a clean, sanitary workspace for example through use of hand disinfectant and sanitizer, in order to minimise infection risk between colleagues or when working with children.
  • Disability types: The nature and types of disabilities affecting the human beings such as physical, cognitive, mental, sensory, emotional or developmental and the specific needs and access requirements of disabled people.
  • Common children’s diseases: The symptoms, characteristics, and treatment of diseases and disorders that often affect children, such as measles, chickenpox, asthma, mumps, and head lice.
  • Developmental psychology: The study of human behaviour, performance, and psychological development from infancy to adolescence.
  • Pedagogy: The discipline that concerns the theory and practice of education, including the various instructional methods for educating individuals or groups.
  • First aid: The emergency treatment given to a sick or injured person in the case of circulatory and/or respiratory failure, unconsciousness, wounds, bleeding, shock or poisoning.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of Montessori school teacher. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

ISCO group and title

2342 – Early childhood educators

  1. Montessori school teacher – ESCO
  2. Featured image: By Aryt123 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0
Last updated on January 4, 2024