“Children indeed love flowers, but they need to do something more than remain among them and contemplate their colored blossoms. They find their greatest pleasure in acting, in knowing, in exploring, even apart from the attraction of external beauty.”Maria Montessori
The process of hiring highly qualified and effective Montessori teachers is of the utmost importance during the candidate screening and hiring process. There is nothing more critical for the success of children than those supporting and guiding their education. As such, the hiring committee, composed of Montessorians, parents, and educators, is intent on hiring teachers who not only displayed a passion and understanding of Montessori, but also held proven track records as educators. The committee approached hiring with the philosophy that finding teachers with the ability to build strong, respectful relationships with students, strong educational background, worldly experiences, demonstration of child-centered practice, commitment to professional development, and displayed “Pied Piper” like demeanors was crucial for the success of our students. Students who have positive relationships with their teachers use them as a secure base from which they can explore the classroom and school setting both academically and socially, to take on academic challenges and work on social-emotional development (Hamre & Pianta, 2001). This includes, relationships with peers, and developing self-esteem and self-concept (Hamre & Pianta, 2001). Through this secure relationship, students learn about socially appropriate behaviors as well as academic expectations and how to achieve these expectations (Hamre & Pianta, 2001). Thus, hiring teachers with the tacit ability to create these relationships was imperative.
The educational experiences of our teachers was important as well. Most of our lead teachers hold master’s degrees and/or many professional certifications. All of our primary lead teachers hold Master’s degrees. All of our lower and upper elementary lead teachers are highly qualified teachers holding professional teaching licenses from the State of Colorado. Many of our assistant teachers hold teaching licenses as well, have Master’s degrees and/or have years of teaching experience and professional development. All of the lead teachers have obtained or are in the process of obtaining full certificates of Montessori studies from one of two Board approved institutions. The two Board approved institutions are, The Center of Guided Montessori Studies and The Montessori Education Center of the Rockies. These are the only two institution that the Board approved out of the dozens of training centers across the United States. These centers were chosen based on their high standards and exceptional reputations. All of our lead teachers have years of teaching experience, many in Montessori classrooms, experiential settings, dual language classrooms.
“The task of the educator lies in seeing that the child does not confound good with immobility and evil with activity.”Maria Montessori
“TEACHERS AS GUIDES…Montessori teachers don’t simply present lessons; they are facilitators, mentors, coaches, and guides who use the children’s interests to enrich the curriculum and provide alternate avenues for accomplishment and success. A Montessori teacher’s ultimate objective is to help his/her students to learn independently and retain the curiosity, creativity, and intelligence with which they were born.”Maria Montessori