Any Montessori teachers out there? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 25 Old 04-24-2006, 05:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am thinking about getting my Montessori training, and would love to talk more to someone about this...
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#2 of 25 Old 04-24-2006, 05:26 PM
 
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I was a 0-3 montessori teacher, trained in AMI but then I had babies and decided to stay home!!

What age group are you interested in? I'd love to take the 3-6 training so I could do montessori at home with my kids but I can't justify the $5K for training much less the time for student teaching/observation.

My advice would be to go with either AMI or if you have to AMS, do not do any type of online or correspondance course!!!

I know there are a couple of 3-6 teachers on here

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#3 of 25 Old 04-24-2006, 05:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, I have my CA credential and MS of Education, so I would probably do an elementary level program so I could work in a public magnet or charter school, or a private elementary. I was thinking about seeing if I could find a job that would help fund my training. I was hoping to be able to bring my kids too. I looked at AMI but the nearest one is Mountain View, CA, which is a huge drive (3 hours) so there is no way.

I was looking at this program:
http://mtcsac.com/
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#4 of 25 Old 04-24-2006, 05:54 PM
 
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Hi!
I have Primary training from AMI.
Did you know that AMI is the organization Dr. Montessori set up to maintain her work? It is a complex and comprehensive theory of education.
Since my experience is with AMI, I can't comment on other programs, except that in my experience, I have seen a few limited instances where AMS training omits or changes some of the key concepts. The program at the MTC you are looking at does not go into the depth you would cover at AMI. There may be other philosophical differences. I noticed that it is not affiliated with AMI, and so there must be points of departure from the original. The practice of Montessori is rather challenging to implement in the first place, so it helps to get the complete picture.
The AMI training is a solid foundation of Montessori's complete preparation of the adult and the environment. I had such an amazing and stimulating experience during training and felt confident and competent going into my first directress' position.
Maybe you can talk to some of the graduates of the program you are considering? Observe at their schools as well as at AMI schools in your area to get a feel for differences in practice. Let us know how things go!

My sweetie and I have a lovely little lady 07/02 and 3 cats
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#5 of 25 Old 04-24-2006, 06:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I actually taught for a year at one of the charter schools associated with the above program. I was the CA credentialed teacher, my co-teacher was Montessori trained. My dd currently attends a Montessori preschool, and many of her teachers have attended training there. How would I find out more about AMI schools? (probably online, huh? I'm a dork ) The only thing is that even if I fall in love with the AMI program, there is no feasible way for me to attend a year of school more than 100 miles from where I live. So if I want to train in or near Sacramento, I think my options are limited...
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#6 of 25 Old 04-24-2006, 07:50 PM
 
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I did a correspondence course from a school in British Columbia. I received my diploma for ages 2.5-6. It was a nine month course with the North American Montessori Council, NAMC, and is acccredited by the International Montessori Council. You can find out more details online. I'd say the downside is no in-class training, but I was working as a teaching assistant for 3 years, so I got plenty of that on my own. I really enjoyed the course and thought it was a good program. Good Luck and good for you!
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#7 of 25 Old 04-24-2006, 08:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Do you think that the certification you have would be better received than the one I could get from the school I linked to? I've been researching and I haven't found many options
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#8 of 25 Old 04-24-2006, 11:21 PM
 
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I'm really not sure what kind of certification public schools look for...so, can't say how the course I did would work for you. I think you should really look for what you need and fullfill a course that fits that. I plan to open my own school after being home with my kids for a few years, so this course was good for me. Some people are big on certain accredation, big name teachers colleges, etc. I had already been to college and then spent five years working in early childhood ed. You get out of any education what you put in. I believe that a dedicated student can get as good an education from a community college as from an Ivy-league school. I went beyond the course requirements and continue to educate myself in many ways. I don't feel the kids I teach will be shortchanged in any way by having a teacher who did a "by-mail" course. I have to believe this, or else rude comments from teachers who have done other training that they deem more elite would get to me, but they don't, b/c I know I did a good job!
Here's the link for the course I did:
http://www.montessoritraining.net/
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#9 of 25 Old 04-24-2006, 11:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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ITA with your feelings about education. In fact, I got my Master's by distance learning! I was just wondering as far as if schools wanted AMI or AMS certification. I guess they can't be too picky when the nearest one is so far away! Anyway, I'm looking into it, and I'll see what I find out. I'd still love to hear thoughts/opinions/experiences from Montessori teachers.
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#10 of 25 Old 04-25-2006, 06:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have been looking into it more, thinking about it more. I really don't want to waste the time or money on a credential that is going to change or omit basic principles of the method. I'm not an elitist about education, but it does seem to me in this instance that the higher quality schools want AMS or AMI certification. The local program would be useful only if I wanted to work locally, or in a preschool setting. So I either have to move, or delay getting training it would seem. It really bums me out, since I was starting to feel that Montessori training was going to be a great career option for me.
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#11 of 25 Old 04-25-2006, 07:08 PM
 
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Yeah, you should not waste your time doing a course that isn't going to allow you a career where you want it. If the schools you'd like to teach at require AMS or AMI, get that. It is a lot of work and money, it needs to open the right doors for you. Don't get discourageed, if now isn't the time, then so be it. There is always the future! Keep it in your sights, even if it is ten years away, we all need our dreams, right?
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#12 of 25 Old 04-25-2006, 11:53 PM
 
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There are many beautiful training centers - maybe you will have a chance to visit one someday. 6 of them offer summer training, done over 3 years. There are alot of job offers on the AMI website (I noticed a few with offers to sponsor). Let me know if you want further info on specific trainers or the Master's at Loyola.
This year is the Centenary of the Montessori Movement. There is a big celebration planned in San Fran for Feb. 07.

My sweetie and I have a lovely little lady 07/02 and 3 cats
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#13 of 25 Old 04-26-2006, 01:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Lilliana.

Okay, so here is the latest update. My dh and I have been talking, and we've thought about it, and we have decided that moving is not totally out of the question for the 2007-2008 school year. We really don't want to be so far away from where we live, so we were looking into training centers on the west coast and thought that Portland might be a really good fit for us.

But then I discovered that NONE of the AMI centers on the west coast have elementary level training, only 3-6. My preference is really to teach elementary level, as that is where my experience is, and that is more likely to get me a job with good pay. Since I have a credential and a Master's degree, and 5 years of experience in elementary, does it seem likely that I could get the 3-6 training, and with an understanding of Montessori principles, methods, and philospohy, I could then go on to teach in an upper grade? Or does it make more sense to try to get an AMS training on the west coast at the elementary level?

I really thinking picking up and moving my family 3000 miles away is out of the question, and my children are too young for me to be away all summer (plus dh's job doesn't allow him to take an entire summer off). So I think AMI training on the east coast is not an option. What do you all think?
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#14 of 25 Old 04-26-2006, 02:35 PM
 
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yeah it looks like the closest ami elementary trainings are in texas and minnesota... Even though AMI was founded by Maria Montessori, I don't think AMS is necessarily that bad, my dd's elementary school had mostly AMS trained teachers probably because of training options...

I do know that when I attended the 0-3 AMI training the majority of students were not from co, in fact I would say atleast half of them were not even from the US... it was a highly sought after training and so many would hire interpreters and bring them along.. So I gues what I'm saying is that if you really want AMI maybe you can find a way to travel somewhere just for the training, mine was during the summer time and for many it meant being away from their family for a few months but many other's planned ahead and brought their family along. It would have never been an option for me to travel, (and I was single at the time) so I got lucky it was in my state... but there are ways to do it, I know many people took out loans and it was worth it in the end. I completely understand that this is probably not an option for you, I am married with 3 kids and even if we had the money something like this wouldn't work.

I wouldn't take the 3-6 training unless you want to work with children this age cause I am positive you have to have the elementary training to work with older children. The theory is the same, but the materials are very different.

I guess if I were you I'd look into the AMS training and see if it's something that would work for you... many AMI schools only want AMI trained teachers BUT there are a ton of AMS schools that accept both. Good luck and I'm sure you noticed but they(ams) offer scholorships and the deadline is may 1st so you may as well apply.

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#15 of 25 Old 04-26-2006, 05:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm feeling pretty discouraged right now. The program in Dallas is not accepting any new applicationsfor some time, even if I wanted to live there, which I don't. The others are just too far away.

Looking into AMS it seems that there are more options, but St. Mary's costs $645/credit hour and the SF one has a website that is totally out of date.

It is very depressing that places want AMI or AMS trained teachers, yet these trainings are so difficult to get, especially elementary. I understand that AMI is highly sought after, but it seems a little crazy to me that I would move my entire family and spent $8,000 and a year of my life to teach preschool and make $34,000 a year. I understand that money isn't everything, but that is what I made as a starting out teacher in a public school 6 years ago!
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#16 of 25 Old 04-26-2006, 09:45 PM
 
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It is frustrating when we are faced with these obstacles!
I wish I could tell you more about the AMI/AMS differences, I am trying to uncover more myself. I do know that the founder of AMS thought Dr. M "too controlling" and actually took her to court over the use of her name (which is why it is now in the public domain) so there must have been some aspects to the theory that she did not agree with. She was also trained from AMI. So far, I have identified a few pedagogical differences (a few ex: plenty of choice v. limited choice, giving the child info/leading him towards discovery) that are inconsistent with the AMI training.
This is definitely a growing movement and the great number of opportunities for trained directresses is only going to increase. It's great if you want to relocate or if you like to travel, but not so great if you need to stay put. Did you consider the summer course format? That way, you could still work during the school year and travel to training in the summer. Also, Check with the center in Mountain View, maybe they will be adding Elementary training in the future. (They may bring a trainer in for a year if there is enough desire).

My sweetie and I have a lovely little lady 07/02 and 3 cats
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#17 of 25 Old 04-28-2006, 05:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks again Liliana! The Mountain View sit is not planning to offer elementary, but the Portland site is, we just don't know when.

I have posted a long thread in personal growth about my options in AMI traing and what to do in regards to my family. I would love it if any of you could check it out. I don't have the link handy, nak'ing, but it is "Trying to decide about going back to school" or something like that.
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#18 of 25 Old 05-03-2006, 06:02 PM
 
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I am in AMI training in London as we speak. Don't go there. I don't even have time to post my rant about it (because my albums are due next week), but when I do...
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#19 of 25 Old 05-03-2006, 06:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Don't go to London or don't do AMI? Can you tell us more when you have time?
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#20 of 25 Old 05-06-2006, 04:41 PM
 
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AMI is fine. My mom has an AMS certificate, so it's not like I'm biased. Don't go to London.
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#21 of 25 Old 05-08-2006, 11:24 PM
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I'm an AMI teacher too, and I would recommend the AMI training. It is a huge decision when you already have a family. I took my training (primary and elementary) before I had children and it was still a sacrifice - it would be much harder now.

Even so, besides the pedagogical advantages (much more in-depth information), there are so many more jobs available. While an unaffiliated school might hire someone with any type of training, an AMI school will only hire an AMI teacher. With AMI training you can work at nearly any school, including many schools overseas.

An anecdote or two (or three)...

While taking my primary training there was a woman who was the daughter of two AMI teachers. She was taking the AMI training after having already taken AMS training because she felt like she didn't learn what she needed to learn.

While taking my elementary training there was a woman taking the AMI training after taking the AMS training because the school in which she wanted to work, and that hired her, required AMI training. She had taken the AMS training because it was easier to fit into her life initially, but wound up having to take the AMI training any way. It would have been easier to have taken the AMI training to begin with.

There is a mom at my school (whose daughter will begin in the fall) who has been considering training for several years. Her (now seven year old) daughter has attended two AMS schools and she was sure that AMI training would not fit into her life and that AMS was good enough. Last week we had a parent night (the first she has attended) and she was so impressed with the in-depth information presented that she stayed after to talk. She said that what they did at her daughter's other schools didn't sound like what we were doing and that what we were doing was fascinating to her. The next day she dropped a resume off at my house applying for an assistants position and stating her intent to take AMI training as soon as her youngest is a bit older. She has decided to put off AMI training until her baby is older rather than take AMS training now.

Anyway - my own journey into AMI training is similarly thought out. I was lucky to be childless at the time so that I could travel more easily for my training. Someday I would like to take the 0 - 3 training, but it will have to wait until my baby is a bit older.

Good luck - these are tough decisions. Sorry to ramble on about my own (biased, undoubtedly) position!

Ellen
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#22 of 25 Old 05-09-2006, 12:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, this is how it is shaping up. There is a private Montessori school here that sponsors teachers to get their training and they pay my kids' tuition (up to 8th grade) as long as I teach there The boss person is on vacation for a couple of weeks, but I have been in touch with another person at the school and he very much wants me to meet with his boss about observing the school and a possible sponsorship.

DH and I are discussing a year in Maryland, renting out our house and coming back. Or if Portland gets their program up and running in time (Sept. 2007), we would go there instead. If the school doesn't offer me a sponsorship, we will probably put training on hold for a while, but might move to Portland as soon as they get thier elementary program going. So it it looking really good for me to get my AMI training! And my whole family would be with me!

I'll keep you up to date and see what the school here has to say about sponsoring me. They sounded really excited to meet with me!
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#23 of 25 Old 05-09-2006, 04:26 AM
 
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Lousli that sounds really great! I'm glad you may be able to go ahead with AMI. You will be so happy with the training you receive. I hope it works out for you. Good luck!

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#24 of 25 Old 05-11-2006, 06:08 PM
 
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Guess what, everyone! I finished my manuals today. I turned them in this morning at 10!

It's done. After months of working my arse off it's all finished.

Of course, they're still not perfect, but it's a life's work.
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#25 of 25 Old 05-13-2006, 02:47 AM
 
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Congrats TexasTomboy! What a great feeling of accomplishment you must have! Celebrate!
Now maybe you have time to tell us why you wouldn't recommend going to London????

My sweetie and I have a lovely little lady 07/02 and 3 cats
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