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Infant / Toddler

Teacher Certification Course

The CGMS Infant/Toddler Teacher Certification program is a unique blend of distance learning with a low residency requirement. The Full Certification program is affiliated with the International Montessori Council (IMC) and is MACTE accredited.

Using the latest internet technology, CGMS presents video lectures and curriculum presentations offering a deep and comprehensive exploration of the Montessori approach for children’s youngest years. Students complete a variety of meaningful assignments which relate directly to their classroom experience and provide opportunities for practical application of the course material. Weekly interactions with instructors and fellow students in online discussion forums and chats serve to build a rich and supportive learning community and provide additional opportunities for integration of course topics.

The Montessori Infant – Toddler level is very different from other levels of Montessori education. The focus is more on understanding the incredible developmental changes that take place in the first three years of life. While other levels certainly focus on understanding child development, they also put a lot more emphasis on specific materials and Montessori curriculum. At the Infant- Toddler level, the child is the curriculum. It is essential for Montessori Infant – Toddler Guides to have a comprehensive understanding of the young child so they can be an aid to their development. We have developed a rich program which integrates Montessori Philosophy and best practice for Infants and Toddlers with the latest in brain and developmental research.

Some of the main course components include:

  • Montessori Philosophy and Interdisciplinary Studies: Presents Montessori Philosophy in the context of the most current understanding of psychology, neuro-science, and human development
  • Observation Theory and Techniques
  • Environmental Design
  • Establishing healthy rhythms and routines
  • Observation
  • The Development of Language and Communication
  • Activities for supporting Sensory, Cognitive, and Motor Development
  • Music
  • The Child in the Family
  • Classroom Leadership and AdministrationCertification Level: International Montessori Council (IMC) Infant / Toddler Teaching Certification for guiding ages 0-3 years of age. Two certification option options are available. Full Certification includes three phases described below; distance learning, residential session, and practicum phase. The Associate certificate option can be completed though distance learning and a practicum phase.Length of Course: 18 months includes:
    • Distance learning course work over the entire 18 months with a one week break approximately every 9 weeks and a three week winter and summer break
    • Residential Sessions – An 120 hour session takes place over 2 and a half weeks typically in the first summer of the course. Locations vary from year to year. If there’s a location you would like to see offered, please let us know.
    • Practicum Requirement – 9 month internship , student teaching 5 days a week for a half-day in a Montessori Infant / Toddler classroom

    Infant / Toddler Full Certificate students will complete all three phases of the CGMS training program:

    Distance Learning Phase: – course work over the entire 18 months with a one week break approximately every 8-9 weeks and a two week winter and summer break. New cohorts (groups) of students will begin several times a year. Students follow a specific schedule of course curriculum working with fellow students and Instructional Guides on a weekly basis. Students should plan 10-15 hours per week, which can be scheduled at their own convenience, to view course video lectures and presentations, complete a variety of assignments, and participate in course discussions. Once a week students participate in a one hour scheduled chat session. During this phase students will need access to a Montessori Infant or Toddler environment for observation assignments and the 9 month practicum/internship.

    Residential Phase (Full Certificate Students Only): The Infant / Toddler Full Certification Program requires attendance at 1 residential session. Our recommendation is for attendance at a residential session in the first summer of the course, before one begins the practicum/internship phase. The summer residential session provides opportunities for supervised lesson practice and material making. The emphasis on classroom leadership skills helps prepare students for the practicum phase so they are successful in translating Montessori theory and methods into daily classroom practice.

    The Practicum Phase: Students are required to complete a 9 month 400 hour practicum/ internship in an approved Montessori Infant or Toddler classroom or a Montessori Parent/Infant program. Classrooms must be well prepared according to Montessori principles for this age group and follow Montessori best practices for supporting the development of children ages 0 -3.

    Students will be assigned a Field Consultant who will visit the student in the practicum classroom to provide feedback and support, and to evaluate the student’s growth and progress as a Montessori Guide. CGMS makes an effort to find and contract certified and experienced Montessori teachers within reasonable driving distance of the student to serve as the field consultant. When this is not possible, the student or sponsoring school will be responsible for the additional travel cost for the practicum evaluation visits.

    The ideal practicum experience takes place in a classroom with a certified and experienced Montessori Infant / Toddler Guide. In this situation the student serves as an assistant teacher- intern working under the guidance of the Supervising Teacher. This enables the student to observe and learn from the mentor teacher while increasingly developing knowledge and skill in all areas of the curriculum and in the duties of a lead Montessori Guide.

    In some circumstances students may need to complete a Self-Directed Internship. This occurs when a qualified Supervising Teacher is unavailable to work directly with the student. We realize this may occur in some cases when schools or individuals are starting new programs. In such cases of self-directed internships CGMS will work with schools and individuals to develop a support plan, which will include additional mentorship from experienced Montessori Infant and Toddler teachers.
    This additional support may be provided by video conferencing or in person. The fee for this additional support will be based on the level of support needed with a minimal fee being $600.