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Student Teaching (Practicum)
STUDENT TEACHING / PRACTICUM
The practicum is a necessary requirement for the successful completion of the Infant & Toddler, Early Childhood, and Elementary I Teacher Credential Courses.
The function of the Practicum Phase is to provide for the adult learner 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. The practicum begins in September and continues through May. The Student Teaching / Practicum is defined as five (5) days a week 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 length of the practicum may be extended to provide additional experience and ensure all standards and competencies for the practicum are met.
The practicum provides the adult learner with a supervised teaching and learning experience. The practicum is a period of observation, internalization, and further study, in order to bring together the theory and the practice of Montessori education.
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 total minimum infant & toddler and early childhood practicum hours are 540; the total minimum elementary practicum hours are 1080.
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.
Prior work in a Montessori classroom is not counted toward the practicum requirement.
Practicum seminars are conducted during the practicum school year. 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.
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:
- Preparation: of indoor and outdoor environments based on the Montessori philosophy and human development.
- Observation and Recording: observing, responding/planning, assessing; maintaining records in order to implement the curriculum and provide classroom leadership.
- Interaction: relations among parents, staff, and children to develop community involvement and family partnerships.
- Instruction: designing activities; individual and group presentations in order to implement the curriculum and provide classroom leadership.
- Management: individual and group strategies in order to provide classroom leadership.
- Parent/Community Involvement: family support and community services; parent education, interviews, conferences, and meetings; open house.
- 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 visits require an additional expense for the visits - $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 Supervisor observation, the supervisor meets with the adult learner. The discussion during the meeting includes but are not limited to the following areas:
- Montessori Philosophy and Human Development
- Classroom Leadership
- Curriculum Implementation
- Community Involvement and Partnership with Families
Practicum Site Requirements
- The Site must be affiliated with the American Montessori Society or an exemption is established.
- The class contains children in the full age span.
- The school is equipped with the full complement of purchasable Montessori materials.
- Non-discrimination policy: The school site must have a written non-discrimination policy for children and staff.
- Licensing: The site must meet all local and state regulations.
- School Policies: The site should communicate to the learner and to MTEC its administrative policies and guidelines relating to the learner. This may be done verbally or in writing.
- Job Description/Contract: The site provides a job description and a contract of agreement acceptable to the site, the learner, and the preparation course. This job description or agreement should include, if any, the nature and type of remuneration given the learner.
- Cooperation with preparation course: The school must agree to cooperate with MTEC/SFBA in all matters relating to the practicum.
- Janitorial Service: Janitorial service should be provided.
- The 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.