Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What to look for when hiring a Montessori teacher!

Qualities of an authentic Montessori teacher... What to look for!!

Kathryn Miller and Shelli Caldwell
Two Authentic Montessori
Teachers at The Innovative School.

The role of a Montessori teacher is that of an observer, facilitator, nurturer, communicator, environmental engineer, role-model, team player, advisor, guide, and be a patient, approachable, organized, tolerant, knowledgeable, and professional human being who is strong in character and prepared in spirit at the same time.

As a head of school, how do you perceive what to look for when seeking an authentic Montessori teacher for your classrooms?

Dr. Montessori had strong opinions about the preparation of the teacher. It is the starting point in your search.
Dr. Montessori said:
” It is my belief that the thing which we should cultivate in our teachers is more the spirit than the mechanical skill of the scientist; that is, the direction of the preparation should be toward the spirit rather than toward the mechanism.”

When interviewing a prospective teacher, the logical first inquiry is the level of their training, experience, and years in the field. After the initial points are covered, presenting a set of questions that can be answered in person will provide you with a sense of this person being a match for your philosophy and your school.

Here are some sample questions to determine the above qualities.

  1. How do you handle your frustrations when you get to the ‘end of your rope’ with a child?
  2. What kind of continuing education do you participate in each year?
  3. If you have a small classroom with very little storage, what is your strategy?
  4. What is the most difficult experience you have had with a parent? How did you handle it?
  5. When or how often do you think is necessary for a team meeting?
  6. How important are faculty meetings to you?
  7. What kind of support do you expect from a head of school?
  8. What do you use as a support for your spiritual development?
  9. Authentic Montessori teacher – how would you describe one?
  10. Describe the most challenging experience you have had with an assistant or co-worker.
  11. What is your vision for your ideal classroom?
  12. What would you be doing on Veteran’s Day, if it were a school holiday?
Kathryn Miller
Got Montessori?
After having a conversation over these topics or others that you create yourself, you will likely have a clearer picture of the person interviewing. You will be able to make a more comfortable choice for your school.