All Montessori Schools Are Not Created Equal

As a Montessori parent, certified Montessori teacher, and school administrator, I'm often asked whether one Montessori school is affiliated with another. The answer is typically no. Believe it or not, the Montessori name was never patented; therefore, any school could call themselves Montessori. Optimistically, those schools are good schools that encourage independence, self-motivation, peace, and all of the qualities that make Montessori what it is.

The two main accrediting bodies for Montessori schools are AMS — American Montessori Society and AMI — Association Montessori International.

If the school that you're looking into isn't affiliated with either one, you will have to do a little more leg work. Does the school have multi-age classrooms? Are there five prepared areas: math, language, sensorial, practical life, and cultural? Are there live pets and plants in the classroom? Is there an outdoor environment (this is not the playground.)? Is the classroom peaceful? Are the children working happily either individually or in small groups? Is there a 2-3 hour block of uninterrupted work time every day? Is there at least one Montessori trained teacher in every classroom?

Many schools tout the Montessori name but knowing what to look out for will save you time and heartache.


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