Which Montessori Teacher Training is the best? Let's look at the options and see if any of them fit your needs.
Two Largest Montessori Training Organizations
What is MACTE?
Top 5 Considerations When Selecting a Training Program
Why are you taking training?
Where are you located?
What are your long-term goals?
What is your schedule like?
How inspired are you?
There are many options for training to become a Montessori teacher trainer. Association Montessori Internationale (abbreviated as AMI), and the American Montessori Society (abbreviated as AMS) are the two largest organizations that train teachers. First, let's go over some basic differences about the organizations themselves:
AMI-USA (The US branch): 1972
|Founder||Nancy McCormick Rambusch||Maria Montessori|
|Training Centers||Approximately 100||Approximately 65|
MACTE stands for the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education. It is an Accreditation body for Montessori teacher education programs. Getting accredited through MACTE is not required, but it does set a very high standard for Montessori Teacher Education programs to follow and adhere to.
MACTE is accredited by the United States Department of Education. MACTE also accredits many international programs. It is also recognized by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) and the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).
All AMS (American Montessori Society) teacher education programs are accredited through MACTE. They also have programs through the following affiliated Montessori teacher education programs listed on their website, as of August 22, 2021. This list may change. You can see an updated list, as well as previously accredited programs, on their website. You can click on the name of the program below to be taken to the training program's website:
Montessori training is a LOT of work. Think about why you want to take the training. Is it for a career? If so, you may need something with a stronger certificate from the organizations above. If it is for homeschooling your own child, you might be able to take a more affordable training course that you can do online, that while it often comes with a certifiate, might not be recognized in schools. Make sure the training lines up with your reasons for wanting to take it.
Where you are plays a more important role than you may think. Is there even a teacher training center nearby? Even more importantly, if you are looking to become a teacher, my first piece of advice to people is visit schools in your area and ask them what training their teachers have and what they are looking for in terms of a credential. Some might only take AMS or AMI. Some might be willing to take either of those, or any MACTE credential. Some, especially in places where it is hard to get trained, might have an online one they would agree to.
This also brings up the issue of whether you are sure you want to stay in that area you live. If you're investing a few thousand dollars into a Montessori course because it is accepted in your area, then you move to a larger city a year or two later where they are looking for a more recognized credential, it may be worth waiting until you move to begin your training.
One other consideration are your long-term goals. You may want to work in a teacher training center yourself and that may require you to have an AMS, AMI, or MACTE certificate. As it stands right now, AMI will only take AMI-trained teachers to become instructors in their programs. AMS is set up a differently and this is vague so as to not confuse you, but I lose some exactness when I say this: they allow for many more programs, but not all. If you have AMS, AMI, or any MACTE program, you might be able to teach at a training center, but AMS does prefer AMS teachers in their programs. (I believe a certain percentage have to be AMS, but I do not recall exactly). These are questions you can ask when you meet with the teacher training center.
Becoming a Montessori teacher is a LOT of work. Programs do offer different time frames in courses:
Not many people think about this before they walk in, but you may meet a director of a program that you are just inspired by. This may be the perfect person to talk to and get to know their program.
A good friend of mine was inspired to take Montessori training after a workshop I gave. During her training, she said, "I originally took the training to be a better teacher. Then I realized it was great because I was becoming a better mother. Then I realized I was becoming a better person." You might think you're going in to teach and change lives, but never forget that Montessori TRAINING is about changing the adult.
Good luck on your journey. I would love to hear about it. Check out my page on Facebook at Montessori Cool Things or drop me an email at my contact page to tell me about it.