Portrait of young smiling woman teacher sitting near colorful pencils, different toys with children

What is a Montessori Teaching Assistant?


If you are considering a career in early childhood education, you may have heard of the Montessori method. Montessori is a unique approach to education that was developed by Italian physician and educator Maria Montessori.

An important role in a Montessori classroom is that of the Teaching Assistant. But what exactly does a Teaching Assistant do? Read on to learn more about the duties and responsibilities of a Montessori Teaching Assistant.

What is the Montessori method?

Pioneered by Maria Montessori in the early twentieth century, the Montessori method is a student-directed approach to education. In this system, students are encouraged to explore their interests and learn by self-discovery. Rather than directly teaching facts and figures, the teacher instead serves as a guide, helping children develop skills such as problem-solving and critical thinking.

The Role of a Teaching Assistant in the Montessori Method

In the Montessori system, Montessori Teaching Assistants play an important role in creating an environment where students can learn and explore.

Their primary responsibility is to help children gain knowledge and skills as they work through their learning activities. This includes providing guidance, feedback, and support to students who need it.

Teaching Assistants provide individualised instruction and help students stay on task and complete activities. They also observe the progress of students, assess their needs, and create strategies to ensure they are successful in their learning endeavours.

Montessori Teaching Assistant job description

A Montessori Teaching Assistant plays an important role in the education of young children. They play a vital part in helping the Montessori teachers create a safe and stimulating environment that encourages curiosity, self-exploration, trial and error, and social learning in the classroom.

Teaching Assistants provide support to establish expectations and routines, assist with planning lessons and activities, help foster cooperative behaviour and communication skills among classmates, and provide additional instruction when needed while also providing physical assistance during certain activities. Additionally, they may supervise lunchtime or outdoor play as well as aid in the preparation of materials.

The job of a Montessori Teaching Assistant emphasises warm interpersonal relationships between staff and students, which are vital components of this style of education.

Duties of a Montessori Teaching Assistant

The Montessori Teaching Assistant job description shows how critical Montessori Teaching Assistants are to the successful operation of an educational environment that offers each child a holistic, comprehensive learning experience.

From helping with classroom management and supervision to assisting teachers in setting up activities and materials related to developmentally appropriate, individualised instruction, Montessori Teaching Assistants are responsible for providing invaluable support while also fostering an atmosphere conducive to creative exploration and discovery.

In addition, they are expected to create meaningful interactions with students through thoughtful guidance, encouragement and modelling.
Ultimately, Montessori Teaching Assistants must prioritise the safety and well-being of their students while actively promoting the goals of the Montessori traditions: respect for each student’s unique potential; appreciation of individuality; a deep love of learning; and a reverence for nature.

Qualifications for a Montessori Teaching Assistant

Montessori Teaching Assistants play a critical role in the success of a classroom setting. They need to possess certain qualifications in order to effectively serve the students in their care. Essential qualifications include strong interpersonal skills, experience with children and an understanding of the Montessori method.

Additional beneficial credentials include child development knowledge, first aid training and CPR certification. Excellent communication and organisational skills are also essential for Montessori Teaching Assistants as they will coordinate activities between teachers and parents, help supervise field trips and contribute to the overall behaviour management strategy within a classroom setting.

Being passionate about working with children and having the ability to work within an educational team environment are also important qualities a successful Montessori Teaching Assistant should display.

How to become a Montessori Teaching Assistant

Becoming a Montessori Teaching Assistant in the UK is an excellent way to enter the world of education while earning a living wage. This role provides assistance in a variety of tasks, from leading lessons and overseeing playtime to helping with assessment.

To become qualified for this position, it is necessary to have completed training courses or courses related to child motor development, as well as possess good interpersonal skills and an understanding of Montessori practices/philosophy.

Once these criteria are met, the necessary credentials can be obtained from a recognised Montessori training provider; this certifies that the individual has achieved a basic knowledge of early childhood care.
Those eager to work in childcare should consider volunteering or taking on related roles as an assistant in order to gain experience. This can be a great way to get a foot in the door and develop a portfolio of work that is attractive to future employers.

Salary and Benefits of Being a Montessori Teaching Assistant

Being a Montessori Teaching Assistant in the UK comes with many career benefits. These include competitive salaries, high levels of job security, and potential opportunities for promotion.

Salaries vary from school to school and depend on the qualifications and experience of the individual. Generally, Teaching Assistants in the UK earn an annual salary of up to £25,000 depending on where they work and their level of qualification.

In addition, there are a variety of perks, such as discounts for education resources, access to special events or activities at reduced rates, and occasional bonuses. This can be a highly rewarding job that provides incredible satisfaction.

Become a Montessori Teaching Assistant today!

Being a Montessori Teaching Assistant is a very rewarding job, as you’ll be able to make a real difference in the lives of children and help them to reach their potential.

If you have the qualifications, patience, and a passion for teaching, this could be the perfect job for you! 
If you are interested in becoming a Montessori Teaching Assistant, consider finding a job at The BIG Jobsite today!