“Montessori” is not a trademark or a franchise: any institution can hang a shingle over its door and claim to offer a Montessori education. So how can parents tell whether a Montessori school is authentic?
Doctors have the AMA; architects the AIA; engineers the IEEE; attorneys are a member of a State Bar Association. Surely there’s an organization for Montessori teachers.
For ‘Montessori’ there is AMI, the Association Montessori Internationale. Certified Montessori teachers understand the stages of child development. They craft meaningful play activities. They provide lessons to teach skills for life. They teach how to solve problems with a positive attitude. They are welcoming children’s mistake and kindly repeat the lesson, until the child masters it. They are required to use approved AMI materials in the class and have been revising and supervised by AMI trainers and professors.
In addition to AMI, we are accredited by the Maryland State Department of Education, the Office of Childcare of MSDE, and by AMI USA (Association Montessori International). Locally, we are a member of AISGW – The Association of Independent Schools of Greater Washington and are proud to serve our community.
Founded by Dr. Montessori herself in 1929, AMI is the most diligent of the various Montessorian organizations in ensuring that Montessori schools and teachers are both well-grounded in the basic principles of the method and ready to carry those principles forward in the modern educational world. AMI offers teacher training and conferences, approves the production of Montessori materials and books, and, through its AMI-USA branch office, accredits schools.
To receive AMI Recognition, each classroom in the school must have:
- A fully-trained teacher who has completed both a college undergraduate degree and AMI’s year-long training program (masters);
- A complete set of authorized Montessori classroom materials;
- A three-year range of ages within the single classroom;
- An uninterrupted three-hour work cycle each morning;
- For an Elementary program, an uninterrupted three-hour work cycle each morning and afternoon with a Montessori teacher.
- An outside consultation from an experienced AMI teacher every three years, verifying that these requirements are met and offering workshops and suggestions to help school staff further refine the program.
Every three years, trained consultants evaluate AMI schools at each level as a part of the ongoing school accreditation process.
Reprinted. Courtesy of John Long, Director of Post Oak Montessori in Bellaire, Texas