How The Program Works

How does the Teacher Education Program work?
Columbus Montessori’s Teacher Education Program (TEP) offers courses that prepare adults to meet the competencies for teacher credentials by the American Montessori Society (AMS). The program is affiliated by the American Montessori Society and accredited by the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE). According to MACTE, an accredited program must be designed to:

  • Develop expertise in the educational system designed by Dr. Maria Montessori, including its philosophies, teacher roles and design of curricula and environments;
  • Assure basic knowledge of child development, including major theorists and contemporary research;
  • Lead to credentialing in Montessori teaching with a specified child age range within the period from birth to age 18.

Rather than lead the child, the Montessori teacher observes the development and interests of each child individually and prepares the work environment appropriately. After an initial presentation or lesson by the teacher, the children are encouraged to choose their activities freely and as often as necessary to fulfill a child’s needs. The teacher’s role is to create a space that fosters cooperation and mutual help among children, in which children of various ages and stages of development can gain self-confidence through competency, and is safe and comfortable for them to develop the habit of concentration.

TEP has been an integral part of Columbus Montessori’s programs since 1988, educating teachers at the infant/toddler and early childhood levels. The mission of the Columbus Montessori Teacher Education Program is to be a center of Montessori education for adults who wish to become skilled providers of developmentally appropriate services for children from birth through 6 years of age. We value each human being as unique and deserving of dignity and respect. We acknowledge that adult learners progress through several stages of development and see their learning as an active and participatory experience.

In attending the only Montessori teacher education center in Central Ohio, TEP students benefit from taking classes in an actual, authentic Montessori school. Students practice in classrooms thoughtfully designed to include core areas of study: practical life, sensorial, math, language, and geography/culture. Authentic Montessori materials and apparatuses combine with other elements to create an environment both welcoming of the child and encouraging his or her curiosity in safe, developmentally appropriate ways.

TEP instructors are also highly trained, practicing Montessori teachers. In addition to teaching staff from Columbus Montessori’s own Infant-Toddler and Children’s House programs, instructors come from all around Ohio and other states.

TEP pioneered the concept of the year-round weekend learning model to meet the needs of families participating in the program. The program runs Friday evening and Saturday during the school year and an intensive three and a half week summer session. There is excellent year-round support to each TEP student’s learning process. Students are encouraged to revise work as often as necessary for it to be accepted.

While attending classes, the students spend one school year as a student teacher in a Montessori classroom under the supervision of a mentor teacher.  After one year and the completion of the rigorous course work, the students are granted a credential by the American Montessori Society. This credential is recognized worldwide and grants teachers the ability to teach in Montessori schools around the world.

Applicants must hold a high school diploma and be at least 21 years of age.

To learn more about this unique learning experience, please contact our TEP Director, Kristi Lethenstrom, at