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Primary – Early Childhood

Teacher Certification Course

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

Using the latest internet technology, CGMS presents video lectures and curriculum presentations offering a deep and comprehensive exploration of the Montessori approach for children 3-6 years of age. 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.

Certification Level: IMC Montessori Certification for teaching ages 3-6 years of age. (Full Certification is MACTE Accredited)

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. To see currently scheduled residential locations, click here. 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 Early Childhood classroom

Early Childhood Certificate students will complete all three phases of the CGMS training program:

Distance Learning Phase: New cohorts (groups) of students 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 Early Childhood classroom for observation assignments, lesson practice, and the 9 month practicum/internship.

Residential Phase: The Early Childhood 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 (full school year) half-day practicum / internship in an approved Montessori Elementary classroom. This student-teaching phase must take place in a Montessori Early Childhood classroom for children 3-6 years of age. Exceptions may be made for an alternative age grouping, at the discretion of the Director of Education, but a minimum of a 2 year grouping within the 3-6 age range is required. Classrooms must be well equipped with the Montessori Early Childhood curriculum materials Montessori best practices must be followed.

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 Early Childhood 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 as the lead teacher in the practicum classroom on a daily basis. Under these circumstances the student serves as the lead teacher in the classroom while in training. A Self-Directed Internship must be approved by the CGMS Director of Education or Elementary Coordinator. A Self- Directed Support Plan must be submitted to assure that the student has the additional guidance needed for success. All self-directed interns are assessed a fee of a minimum of $600 to cover the expense of this additional support and additional evaluations that are required by the accrediting agency.