Why Montessori Teachers are Called Guides


Montessori teaching is a fascinating concept, but one area that is often overlooked is the teachers, who are also called guides. Why are Montessori teachers called guides?

Montessori teachers are called guides because they guide rather than teach the students in their classroom. Instead of telling kids how to do assignments, they show kids they can use Montessori materials and then let the kids choose what they want to do. They rarely teach at the front of the room.

Now that you know why Montessori teachers are called guides, you may be wondering what their responsibilities are and how much money they make in a year. These people are important to your child’s education, so it’s only fair that you’re curious about them!

What is a Montessori Guide?

A Montessori guide is what a teacher who works in a Montessori classroom is called. There are typically two or more Montessori guides in a classroom at one time, although there are typically other supporting staff members in the room as well (Source).

A Montessori teacher may also be called a director or directress. The exact title of a Montessori classroom teacher depends on what the classroom children want to call the teacher and what the teacher wants to be called. However, most of the time the Montessori teachers are called guides because it is easier for small children to say. It also has a nice connotation of leading, and not demanding.

Why are Montessori Teachers Called Guides?

Montessori teachers are called guides because they guide the classroom instead of teaching in front of it. They suggest ways to use the Montessori materials rather than tell the children exactly how they should be used. They also don’t give out assignments for the children to do, unlike most traditional teachers (Source).

Montessori guides never teach all of the children at once while standing in front of the classroom, so they are not called teachers. They have different duties than traditional teachers, so they do not have the same title as traditional teachers. Instead, they are called guides.

Montessori guides are also called guides because they are able to guide individual children towards different Montessori materials and help them answer any questions that they have. They guide the learning of the students that they are in charge of, but they don’t tell the students exactly what to do.

Montessori guides have more time to spend with each individual student compared to traditional teachers, which is one of the reasons why they are called guides rather than teachers.

Montessori guides don’t tell their students the exact answer if a student asks them questions. Instead, they try to guide the student towards the answer so the student can develop critical thinking skills and learn how to solve problems by themselves, without the aid of an adult.

Montessori teachers are also called guides because “guide” is easy for young children to say. “Teacher” is slightly harder for young children to pronounce correctly, and they may become frustrated over time because they can’t say it right.

What is the Role of the Montessori Guide?

Montessori guides have many roles in the classroom that they are in charge of.

List of Montessori Guide Roles and Responsibilities:

  • Guide students towards answers to questions
  • Ensure classroom is clean and organized
  • Observe students
  • Create a daily lesson plan for every student
  • Be a role model
  • Know when to intervene or step back

Montessori guides have to be able to guide their students towards an answer rather than simply telling them. This. process of individual learning helps each student to develop their critical thinking skills.

Montessori guides have to make sure that their classroom is cleaned and organized before and after the students arrive and leave the classroom every day. If their classroom is dirty or disorganized, the students may not want to use the Montessori materials or could become confused because the Montessori material is not where they expect it to be. Montessori guides need to ensure that consistency is maintained throughout the week.

Montessori guides are role models for their students, so they need to show important character traits like kindness and respect. If they demonstrate these qualities to their students every day, the children can learn what character traits they should develop.

Montessori guides observe their students every day so they can evaluate the quality of their learning, what they are learning every day, and what things that they are struggling with. Based on their observations, they create short lesson plans for each student, or a small group of students, every day. However, most of the time they need to take a step back and observe the children and what they are interested in learning.

On top of knowing when to step back from the students and allow them to learn on their own, Montessori guides need to know when they need to intervene and help their students in their learning. Montessori guides have many roles that they fill and many responsibilities.

Do Montessori Guides/Teachers Make a Lot of Money?

Montessori teachers make quite a bit of money when you compare their yearly salary to a traditional preschool teacher’s yearly salary.

Montessori teachers make $21,000-$24,000 a year when they first begin teaching in a Montessori classroom, even if they do not have any previous experience. Montessori teachers can make up to $60,000 a year after they gain experience and have taught in Montessori classrooms for many years (Source).

For example, preschool teachers in Idaho make $23,960 – $36,510 a year, and many starting preschool teacher salaries start out at $18,000 a year. This means that Montessori teachers make a bit more money compared to traditional preschool teachers, even though most school districts require a lot of education before they allow you to teach children.

Now that you know about Montessori teachers and why they are often called guides rather than teachers, you will not be surprised when you next come across a Montessori guide. Montessori guides make more money than traditional preschool teachers, but they have very similar responsibilities much of the time. Montessori classrooms are very different from traditional classrooms, and that is partially shown through the title of their teachers.


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Stacy Jones

When I became a foster mother, I started researching different parenting and education ideas. Learning about the Montessori Method has been intriguing and fascinating, and I have enjoyed watching the little ones in my life learn and grow from incorporating Montessori elements into our family's lifestyle. Montessori For Today was started to provide answers to my own questions, which will hopefully become a great resource for others to learn about the Montessori Method, Montessori Schools, and how you can incorporate elements of Montessori into your own home and lifestyle.

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