Elementary Lead Guide Teacher Diploma | The Prepared Montessorian
Teacher Training Institute
Teacher Training Institute




Elementary Lead Guide 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!
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Elementary Lead Guide Diploma

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 MACTE-accredited training course will provide theoretical and practical preparation: from Montessori philosophy to the delivery 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 2021 and 2022; 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.


Our Diploma course 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 government and has accredited many Montessori training centers affiliated with AMI or AMS, as well as independent Montessori training centers like The Prepared Montessorian.

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

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

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: Distance Learning

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.

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 for $1,495.

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.

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

  • with a MACTE diploma
  • 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.


The cost is $6500 for the entire MACTE Diploma Program.

Scholarships are available. Payment instructions will follow upon acceptance to the program.

Once in-person residencies resume, adult learners are responsible for their own expenses (travel, accommodations, meals, etc.) to attend.

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).

How to Apply

Next cohort will begin October 20, 2022. Click here to submit your application.

Note: A recommendation form from a Head of School, manager, or other relevant references will be required.

If accepted, The Prepared Montessorian Team will send an invite to you to join the training!

Need More?

If you have more questions about the training, feel free to check our FAQ page or submit your question in our contact form below.

Training Schedule for the October 2021 Cohort

Diploma Path at a Glance for the October 2021 Cohort

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 Fedorehder
Nicole Fedorehder
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.

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