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Student Teaching (Practicum)

STUDENT TEACHING / PRACTICUM

The practicum is a necessary requirement for the successful completion of the American Montessori Society Infant & Toddler, Early Childhood, and Elementary I Teacher Credential Courses.

The function of the Practicum Phase is to provide a supervised teaching/learning experience and a period of observation, internalization, and further study, to bring together the theory and practice of Montessori education.

No part of the student teaching / practicum may precede the academic phase of the course. Prior work in a Montessori classroom is not counted toward the practicum requirement.

The practicum begins in September and continues through May. The Student Teaching / Practicum is defined as five (5) days a week Monday through Friday, and lasting a full academic year (nine months). 

The Infant & Toddler and Early Childhood Practicum is a minimum of three (3) hours a day. The Elementary I is a minimum of six (6) hours a day.  The total minimum Infant & Toddler and Early Childhood practicum hours are 540; the total minimum Elementary practicum hours are 1080. 

The length of the practicum may be extended to provide additional experience and ensure all standards and competencies for the practicum are met.

The adult learner participates in all facets of the curriculum and functioning of the classroom, as well as the family partnership, and administrative procedures.

The nine-month practicum may not be shortened in length by increasing the daily number of hours in order to complete the practicum in a shorter amount of time than the required nine months. The nine months allows the adult learner to experience the development of the curriculum and the classroom over the school year, and to experience the growth and development of the individual children.

 

Practicum Seminar I - August - December

Practicum Seminar II - January - June

Practicum seminars are conducted during the practicum school year. Once a month a seminar is conducted. Review practicum schedule for further information.

Alternative practicum seminar assignments/experiences are available for the students residing more than 120 miles from academic coursework site.

Supervising Teacher

The Supervising Teacher is the Head Teacher in the classroom providing a model and guidance for the student teacher / intern.  The Superving Teacher is responsible for providing experiences related to the following areas:

  1. Preparation: of indoor and outdoor environments based on the Montessori philosophy and human development.
  2. Observation and Recording: observing, responding/planning, assessing; maintaining records in order to implement the curriculum and provide classroom leadership.
  3. Interaction: relations among parents, staff, and children to develop community involvement and family partnerships.
  4. Instruction: designing activities; individual and group presentations in order to implement the curriculum and provide classroom leadership.
  5. Management: individual and group strategies in order to provide classroom leadership.
  6. Parent/Community Involvement: family support and community services; parent education, interviews, conferences, and meetings; open house.
  7. Staff Involvement: participation in meetings, establishing team compatibility and problem-solving techniques for community involvement.

When the student teacher / intern is the Head Teacher in the classroom the practicum is considered Self-directed Practicum*. 

Practicum Field Consultant

The Field Consultant visits the adult learner at the practicum site a minimum of three times during the school year.

The *Self-directed practicum at the Early Childhood Level  requires six practicum visits.  The Self-directed Infant & Toddler Level and the Elementary Level I only require the three (3) visits.  The three additional Field Consultant observations and reports are an additional expense of $300.00.

Transportation cost for the Field Consultant's travel to the practicum site is charged by the miles traveled at the federal rate per mile.

Following the Field Consultant's observation, there is a meeting with the adult learner. The discussion during the meeting includes but is not limited to the following areas:

  1. Montessori Philosophy and Human Development
  2. Classroom Leadership
  3. Curriculum Implementation
  4. Community Involvement and Partnership with Families

Practicum Site Requirements

  1. The Site may be affiliated with the American Montessori Society.
  2. The class contains children in the full age span of credentialing.
  3. The school is equipped with the full complement of purchasable Montessori materials.
  4. Non-discrimination policy: The school site must have a written non-discrimination policy for children and staff.
  5. Licensing: The site must meet all local and state regulations.
  6. School Policies: The site should communicate to the adult learner and to MTEC its administrative policies and guidelines relating to the adult learner. This may be done verbally or in writing.
  7. Job Description/Contract: The school provides a job description and a contract of agreement acceptable to the site, the adult learner, and the preparation course. This job description or agreement should include, if any, the nature and type of remuneration given the adult learner.
  8. Cooperation with preparation course: The school must agree to cooperate with MTEC-SFBA in all matters relating to the practicum.
  9. Janitorial Service: Janitorial service is provided.
  10. The adult learner is not to be asked to assume total responsibility for a class without the presence of a supervising teacher or other qualified staff personal unless she/he is following a self-directed practicum.