The Montessori teacher, or directress, is a skilled educator who has completed one or more years of intensive Montessori training. The two key components of the Montessori Method are the prepared environment and the trained educator who prepares the environment as a nurturing place for the child, designed to meet the needs of self construction.
As children can be moulded just like raw clay, it is the educator who develops the potentialities of the child, whom Dr. Montessori termed as “DIRECTOR” or “DIRECTRESS”. Montessori teachers are referred to as ‘director/directress’ as they see their educational role as leading a child through a journey of self-discovery rather than merely delivering a static and didactic curriculum.
The Directress is one who channelizes the child’s capacities in the right manner, so that his/her development takes place, taking into cognizance societal interests. Primary task of the directress is not to teach, but instead direct the natural energies of a child towards maturation.
The primary goal of the Montessori director/directress is to free the student from dependence on direction. This builds self-esteem and gives the student a tremendous skill base for problem-solving, independent thinking, concentration and completion of tasks, and successful participation in leadership activities later in life. The directress respects the child’s need for self-accomplishment and uses the tools of observation, patience, and judgment to know just when help is needed and when to allow a child to work something through on their own. Montessori students have the benefit of remaining with the same teacher for three years.
The training of the teacher who is to help life is something far more than the learning of ideas. It includes the training of character; it is a preparation of the spirit.
Dr. Maria Montessori