We surveyed some recent Teacher Education Program (TEP) graduates about their experience with the program and the Montessori teaching method, here’s a collection of their responses:

How did the TEP prepare you? How did it help you further your career? How did it help you reach your professional goals?

Not only has it bestowed knowledge on Maria Montessori herself, the TEP allowed for a deeper understanding of child development, the Montessori materials and their versatility, in addition to effective communication strategies for peers and families. This program boosted my confidence in the environment, causing me to feel more comfortable taking on responsibilities that I would have shied away from in the past. This experience also allowed me to reach the professional goal of leading a classroom.

How did the TEP prepare you? How did it help you further your career? How did it help you reach your professional goals?

During the time of my training, I was in a transitional phase from the classroom to the administration. This TEP really helped me to not only grow as a Montessori teacher, but to be a better support and guide to my teachers who are in the classroom. I always felt a lack of support from my administration when I was in the classroom. I knew once I moved into the Head of School role, I wanted to be the guide to my staff just as I was the guide to my students. The TEP grew my confidence in the teaching practices of a Montessori teacher which grew my confidence as a Head of School for my staff.

What do you wish you knew when starting your teaching career that you know now?

I wish I knew that the Montessori philosophy is enough. We don’t need less and we don’t need more. If we follow the practice of Maria Montessori, it is enough.

Also, I wish I knew that perfection isn’t attainable, especially in the beginning of a career. It takes time, effort and most importantly years of experience to fill your “toolbox” with strategies that best serve every child who steps into your classroom.

What does “follow the child” mean in your classroom with your students?

In my classroom, following the child means every person is on their own timeline. No journey in the environment will be the same because every child’s development is unique. This means being in tune to readiness and presenting materials in a manner that best suits each child.

What are their needs? Their needs may change over time or even daily. Their needs may be very different from a peer. To follow the child is to not put limitations on them or expectations they are not capable of fulfilling.

How do you feel supported as an educator?

I feel supported when I’m heard, whether it be concerns, needing advice in the classroom or communication with families. I also feel supported when knowing my opinion is valued and I’m trusted to make the decisions that could impact my children.

How do you support other educators?

I support other educators by giving advice when asked and helping to find resources when external assistance is needed. I also give them grace and support when needed.

What do you think people should know about Montessori education?

A Montessori education is a beautiful way of life. The Montessori method nurtures the innate love for learning that all children have. It provides consistency and order to the young mind. Montessori gives the gift of independence and individualized education, and naturally, no child is left behind.

Among many attributes, I think people should know the depth of the curriculum within each area of the Montessori environment. The possibilities of materials are truly endless. It’s incredible to watch how each area can connect to the youngest child in the room as well as the oldest. I feel others should also know Montessori education is tailored to the individual child, considering all aspects of development. Not only does Montessori address academic development, it also provides the ideal environment for the child to build their character in a manner that stays with them beyond the classroom.

Anything else you’d like to share?

The TEP changed my entire outlook on the Montessori philosophy. I have always been involved in Montessori settings, but this program allowed me to have a deeper knowledge of the young mind and the child’s developmental stages which in turn gave me the tools to provide a better Montessori education for my students.