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Teacher Training Institute
The Prepared Montessorian Logo
The Prepared Montessorian Logo
Teacher Training Institute






Elementary Montessori Teacher Diploma

Have you been looking for an educational approach that offers students choice and freedom, while developing self-discipline, independence and responsibility? That presents the vast field of human knowledge as engaging – even riveting! – stories? That adapts to individual interests, strengths, and challenges? That builds academic skills in a multi-sensory, sequential way? That nourishes a growth mindset, creative thinking, and friendliness with error? That encourages collaboration and interpersonal skill development? If so, look no further than Prepared Montessorian’s Elementary Training!
Elementary Montessori Teacher Diploma
In-Residency FAQ

In-Residency FAQ

Need assistance with planning your summer 1 in-residency in Lake Forest, California? We have answers to the frequently asked questions regarding travel, lodging, meals and more. Check out the doc below and if you have further questions, please email or join a weekly info session by RSVPing at this link:

Access the In-Residency FAQ document

Certification Training Overview Video

Watch this short video to connect the training details together and understand the learner journey.

Course Overview

The Elementary years are filled with wonder and adventure. Between the ages of 6 – 12, children in Montessori elementary programs begin to exercise their new powers of mind to explore the universe: from the ancient (history) to the new (scientific discoveries), from the tiny (parts of a flower) to the vast (our solar system), from the profound (literature) to the precise (geometry). At the same time, Montessori elementary children learn to navigate the challenges and rewards of friendship, to plan and prioritize their projects, and to develop even greater independence within and without the classroom walls.

Have you been looking for an educational approach that offers students choice and freedom, while developing self-discipline, independence and responsibility? That presents the vast field of human knowledge as engaging – even riveting! – stories? That adapts to individual interests, strengths, and challenges? That builds academic skills in a multi-sensory, sequential way? That nourishes a growth mindset, creative thinking, and friendliness with error? That encourages collaboration and interpersonal skill development? If so, look no further than Prepared Montessorian’s Elementary Training.

Our adult learners fall into many different profiles: You might be a Montessori Assistant Guide preparing to become a Lead Guide. Or a teacher who wants to transition to a Montessori setting. Or a parent just beginning their journey as an educator.

Whatever your background and experience, our diploma course will provide theoretical and practical preparation: from Montessori philosophy to the delivery of all Montessori lessons for children from ages six to twelve, and everything in between!

Course Structure

Our training course is a blended learning format, with two-week in-residencies across two summers (for a total of four weeks – can be completed remotely during Covid restrictions); a minimum of 24 months of self-paced, self-study; and regular online seminars during evenings and occasional weekends. Note that the self-study portion requires a commitment of 8 - 10 hours per week.

To complete this course, you will need access to a Montessori elementary classroom with the complete range of 6 – 12 materials, where you can practice your lessons and complete your teaching blocks.

This training course takes at least 24 months to complete, depending on one's pace of study and ability to fulfill the practicum component.

Duration and Format

The course will be a blended learning format, with two-week in-residencies during summer 2023 and 2024; minimum of 24 months of self-paced, self-study; and regular online seminars during evenings and occasional weekends. Note that the self-study portion requires a commitment of 8 - 10 hours per week outside of work hours.

To complete this course, you will need access to a Montessori elementary classroom with the complete range of 6 – 12 materials, where you can practice your lessons and complete your teaching blocks.


Prepared Montessorian Institute is accredited by the Montessori Accreditation Council of Teacher Education (MACTE). Known and respected across the world, it is the only accrediting body for Montessori teacher education programs recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Certification and Prerequisites

If you complete and pass all of the required components of our Elementary I/II Training Course  and you already have a Bachelor’s Degree, you will receive a Full Diploma from our training center, which is accredited by the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE). MACTE is the only Montessori accrediting body that is recognized by the United States Department of Education and has accredited many Montessori training centers affiliated with AMI or AMS, as well as independent Montessori training centers like Prepared Montessorian Institute.

If you do not have a Bachelor’s Degree, you can earn an Associate’s Diploma. If you complete a Bachelor’s Degree within three years of graduation from our course, you can turn that Associate’s Diploma into a Full Diploma without completing any additional coursework.

If you are not already an Elementary Lead Guide, keep in mind that the training is a preparation program that is the gateway for future opportunities, but completion does not guarantee you will receive a Lead Guide position. We'll help put you on the right path!

Course Delivery


This course is academically rigorous and requires a mastery of listening, speaking, reading, and writing at a high level in English.

All of our courses and discussions are in English, but we do have supplemental support for Spanish-speakers who can keep up in English but express themselves in Spanish writing with more fluency. If you have questions regarding the level of English comprehension needed, please email us via our contact form at the bottom of the page.


You will have training components in all these formats:

  • Live
  • Online
  • In-Person
  • Self-Paced

Thus, you will need to the technological know-how of how to learn and operate the following types of software:

  • Web browser navigation (i.e., Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge)
  • video call (i.e., Zoom, Microsoft Teams, webcam)
  • word processing and reading software (i.e., Google Docs, Microsoft word)
  • media software (i.e., taking photos and videos, webcam, playing videos)

We will onboard you to our learning management system which houses all your resources and assignments. We will provide instructions and support yet you will need to learn how to proficiently navigate the system in order to complete your training.


* You could use this Time Zone Converter if you need to convert the schedule.

Please be sure to review your cohort's first semester schedule prior to applying to ensure that it fits your time. You can expect to have a similar semester schedule for the remainder of your training.

See course components below for further details.

Course Components

This course has three main components:

Part 1: In Residency

Two weeks across two summers; in-person attendance typically required, but remote attendance is acceptable during Covid restrictions.

Part 2: Album Self-Study & Classroom Leadership Short Courses

Takes 24 months to complete.

Self-paced, self-study of pre-recorded Montessori lessons requires approximately 8 – 10 hours / week. Live, virtual seminars typically run one evening every other week (90 minutes in length) and one Saturday per month (3 hours in length).

Includes the following areas of study: Montessori Philosophy and Child Development, Classroom Leadership and Observation, Mathematics, History, Geometry, Language, Physical Science and Geography, Biology, Fine Arts.

Our two Classroom Leadership short courses cover "Communication and Connection" and "Observation Methodology. Each short course consists of four live, virtual sessions (90 minutes in length).

Part 3: Practicum Course

Takes 24 months to complete. Student Teaching and observation take place during the workday in a Montessori elementary classroom environment. During your student teaching, you will have 3 visits by one of our field consultants. (4 visits for adult learners who are not placed with a supervising teacher). At least one of these visits will be in-person; the others will be remote. Practice with materials takes place outside of the workday, without children present.


True to Montessori philosophy, we assess learning and performance in a way that encourages student-driven goal setting. This means that students can submit each assessment when they feel they have mastered the subject at hand. We review assessment material and collaborate with students so that they can make improvements where necessary.

Course Requirements

Since we largely based online, access to reliable high-speed internet and video/webcam to be on-camera in class is needed. Furthermore, you will need access to a Montessori Elementary classroom for materials practice, observations, and practice teaching.

For access to materials, this can be done in two ways:

  • Coordinate with a local Montessori school to practice with their materials when students are not present (i.e., weekends)
  • Purchase a set of materials from us that you can keep. Contact us for price.

For observations and practice teaching, you will need to coordinate with a local Montessori school (could be the same one for your materials practice) to observe a lead guide and then to practice teaching. You will need 50 hours of observation and 480 hours of practice teaching hours. We can assist with connecting you with our partner network of schools.

A qualified practicum site should meet the following criteria:

  • is fully equipped with Montessori and other appopriate material for the age range in which you are studying
  • runs an authentic Montessori curriculum (i.e., not Montessori-inspired)
  • contains a group of 6 or more mix-aged children in the program associated with the age range you are studying

Your practice teaching is meant to be supported or supervised by a Supervising Guide. A qualified supervising guide is a guide:

  • with a Montessori teacher diploma from a MACTE-accredited institution
  • and at least one year of post-certification Lead Guide experience in the same age range in which you will be studying

If there is not a qualifying Supervising Guide, the guide-in-training is designated as a "Self-Directed Guide" and will have additional review and support required from the Prepared Montessorian training team.

Tuition & Financial Aid

$6500 for the entire certification training (excluding travel and technology costs).

If you need to travel to your practicum site or in-residency, the costs are your responsibility. Any supplies and technology need to access the training (i.e., laptop, internet, webcam) are also your responsibility. Once in-person student teaching resumes, adult learners are required to have at least one field visit by a Prepared Montessorian consultant. Adult learners will be responsible for the expenses for this field visit (travel, accommodations, meals, etc).

Applicants can request either or both a scholarship and payment plan. Prepared Montessorian Institute evaluates applicant's responses and references in each cohort to determine the pool of applicants that are requesting scholarships and subsequently, determine if and how much of a scholarship is awarded. Payment options are as follows:

  • Pay in full within the first month of training
  • Pay in 5 installments
  • Pay first installment prior to start of training in order to be onboarded into training
  • Pay subsequent monthly payments in the 4 consecutive months following the start month
  • Installment fee of $10 (US) added to each monthly installment
  • Pay in 10 installments
  • Pay first installment prior to start of training in order to be onboarded into training
  • Pay subsequent monthly payments in the 9 consecutive months following the start month
  • Installment fee of $10 (US) added to each monthly installment

Details of financial package will be outlined in training offer if accepted into program. You will need to accept those payment terms as part of your acceptance into the training.

Application Process

1. Complete application.

  • APPLICATION NOTE: You will need to upload a resume or curriculum vitae. If possible, please also upload a copy of your transcript (unofficial works as well). The transcript upload is optional at this time but will be needed prior to graduation to determine whether you'll receive a Full or Associate's Diploma.

2. Upon submission of application, a recommendation form will be sent to your Head of School, manager, or other relevant reference to complete.

3. After receiving your reference feedback, we will review your application and reference feedback and provide an admissions decision.

4. If accepted, The Prepared Montessorian Team will send an offer letter, financial information, and invitation form to join the training!

5. If you accept the terms of your offer, please complete the form to formally accept. We will then send you more information to prepare.

Need More?

Download our Diploma Courses Brochure HERE.

Have further questions?

Have further questions?

Frequently Asked Questions & Answers

Meet Your Instructors

Lindsay Journo
Lindsay Journo
Lindsay Journo is our Executive Program Director. Over the past 25 years, Lindsay has worked in numerous educational roles, including Guide, Head of School, Curriculum Director, Professional Development Coach, and Trainer. Her career highlights include being a founding member of two national networks of Montessori schools and designing a comprehensive literature program for elementary students. Lindsay holds an AMI Primary diploma from the Montessori Institute of San Diego, a Bachelor of Education from York University, and an Honors Specialist Certification in the teaching of English from the University of Toronto. In her current role as an Elementary Trainer for Prepared Montessorian, Lindsay relishes introducing adult learners to the wonder and power of the Montessori method.
Letty Rising
Letty Rising
Letty Rising is our Elementary Trainer. During her last undergraduate year at UC Santa Barbara where she earned a BA in Sociology, she took a course that involved her spending a day at a Montessori school. She was deeply moved by her observation, and felt inspired to enroll in a Montessori teacher training program. She received her AMI 6-12 diploma from the Washington Montessori Institute and her Master's Degree in Education from Loyola University. In addition, she has her California State Teaching Credential and has worked in public, private, and charter school settings for 20 years. She has held positions as a Homeschool Education Specialist, Montessori Elementary Teacher, School Director, Principal, Montessori Coordinator, Teacher Trainer, and Consultant with several Montessori communities worldwide. In addition, she writes articles and blog posts for Montessori organizations and has developed online courses for Montessori teachers and homeschool parents.
Margaret Whitley
Margaret Whitley
Margaret is our Elementary trainer. She attended Montessori as a child for four years. After an undergraduate degree in history, she pursued elementary teacher training in Bergamo, Italy. She spent more than 35 years in Montessori education, including establishing the first Canadian Montessori middle school. She embraced roles in Montessori leadership including head of school, teacher trainer and the Canadian Council of Montessori Administrators Director of School Accreditation. She has two adult children who attribute their success, in part, to their Montessori experiences. In 2019, she completed an MFA in creative non-fiction writing to pen her memoir about Montessori's impact on her life. "A World of Difference" is in progress looking for a publishing home. She serves on two boards for food literacy with children. She also enjoys cooking, gardening, yoga, cycling, skiing, hiking and being with family and friends.
Nicole Rehder
Nicole Rehder
Nicole is an Elementary trainer. She has been a Montessori educator for more than 15 years and is an experienced elementary guide, presenter, and mentor. Nicole holds an AMI Elementary Diploma from the Montessori Institute of Milwaukee and a Bachelor's Degree from Columbia College Chicago. She has additional certifications in Positive Discipline and IMSE: Orton-Gillingham Comprehensive and Intermediate trainings. Her enthusiasm for Montessori pedagogy and her practical knowledge of classroom management are her greatest attributes. She enjoys working with adult learners and setting them up for success as they start their journey as Montessori guides.
Adult learning environments need to be suited to adult minds. That's why we've curated courses that are specifically rooted in adult learning theory.
Joel Mendes
Joel Mendes
Executive Director and Teacher Trainer


Take the first step to open up future possibilities, and become a fully certified Montessori teacher in under 15 months.

To help bring forth a Montessori future, we have combined unprecedented accessibility with deep rigor and high standards. Our programs provide a variety of flexible options that accommodate your goals and schedule, while ensuring you receive a quality educational experience.

  • Discover course information and program details
  • Explore tuition, payment plans, financial aid, and direct job placement
  • Join a community of adult learners passionate about delivering Montessori education
Contact Us
Fill out the form and a Learning Advisor will get in touch via email within 24 business hours.

We host weekly certification training information sessions on Fridays from 3:45 pm – 4:15 pm Eastern Time. If you’d like to join the Zoom call, please RSVP via this link: