AMS Teacher Education Instructor Academy


Instructors who work in Montessori teacher education programs are engaged in and enriched by a vital task: preparing future generations of Montessori educators for classroom and administrative roles.

But, who instructs the instructors? What professional development is available for those who are interested in becoming instructors? We are pleased to offer Instructor Academy, which invites you to understand the Montessori story more deeply, to become a keeper of that story, and to pass it on to others.

Instructor Academy is a course of study for future teacher education program instructors. 

Rigorous, advanced, and staffed by leaders in the field, the Academy provides the training TEP instructors need to prepare Montessori teacher educators who can successfully take on their work.

Applications are now being accepted for the Early Childhood cohort. See timeline below for details.

Learn to guide future educators with AMS Teacher Education Instructor Academy.


Members: $3000 | Applications accepted on a rolling basis

Instructor Academy Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the AMS Teacher Education Instructor Academy course, you will be able to:

  • Integrate adult learning theory and the needs of adult learners into course design
  • Convey the story, purpose, and efficacy of the Montessori Method to adults
  • Guide adult learners through discovering the purposes of the Montessori learning materials
  • Create and prepare adult learning environments for Montessori training
  • Confidently abide by ethical practices of AMS standards of quality Montessori education
AMS TE Instructor Academy Outcomes

Your successful graduation application will result in the issuance of an AMS Certificate of Teacher Education Instruction within your chosen Montessori program level.

Gina Taliaferro Lofquist

AMS Senior Director of Education & Strategic Initiatives

“Our task is to keep the legacy of Dr. Montessori alive and thriving. This happens by bringing properly trained Montessori teachers into the prepared environment to guide our children and adolescents. By becoming a teacher educator, you will carry the torch of Maria Montessori and ensure that this unique and powerful pedagogy continues to transform lives and our society.”


Early Childhood Cohort

  • Application and interview period opens: April 1, 2024
  • Notification of program acceptance: Within two weeks of interview
  • Deadline to apply for DEI scholarship: September 8, 2024*
  • Deadline to apply for program: September 22, 2024
  • Notification of scholarship acceptance: September 30, 2024
  • Last day to submit payment: October 11, 2024
  • Classes begin: October 28, 2024

Apply Today

*The AMS Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Scholarship Program provides financial support for eligible applicants. Learn more.

Other Cohorts

The next Infant Toddler and Elementary cohorts will be held in 2025. If you are interested in applying for these programs, submit your interest and we'll contact you when the application period opens.

Subscribe to our newsletter to be notified about this and all of our upcoming programming.

Free Live Info Session: June 24

Join us to learn more about AMS Instructor Academy. Meet our Early Childhood facilitator and hear recent graduates share about their experience and learning in the program. Ask any questions you may have before our new Early Childhood cohort begins in October!

Register Free

Eligibility & Fees


Anyone who meets all of the following requirements may apply for the AMS Instructor Academy:

  • Is an AMS member
  • Has a minimum of three years of teaching experience at their credential level after receipt of an AMS-recognized credential or its equivalent
  • Has a bachelor’s degree or higher


Participants are responsible for the following expenses:

  • Program Fee: $3000
  • Travel, meals, and lodging for attendance at the in residence
  • Any expenses incurred for the participant’s practicums and other program needs such as travel, books and/or supplies

Instructor Academy Overview

Instructor Academy takes place over 2 years and is designed to be respectful of the schedules of classroom teachers and TEP instructors. There are 3 components:

  1. Online learning: 40 weeks
  2. In-Residence: 4 days
  3. Practicum: Divided up over 2 summers, plus field observations

Online Learning

The online learning component is an intensive survey of Montessori adult education at large—a foundational review of Montessori philosophy, how adults learn, and how they should be taught. It blends live and on-demand modalities to create a rich learning experience that has been built as a spiral of the Fundamental Tenets of an AMS-Affiliated Teacher Education Program. It will be broken down into 6 classes, each with 4 – 8 modules. Each class will be supported by group discussion, readings, work assignments, and conversations with your facilitator. You will come together as a cohort of learners even as you work independently through the online experience. Recordings of the live sessions are made available to participants.

Class 1: Introduction

This class will introduce the Fundamental Tenets of an AMS-Affiliated Teacher Education Program. It will also explore the historical context of Dr. Montessori’s work as well as the importance of transformation.

Class 2: Who is the Instructor

This course, grounded in Montessori philosophy and informed by neuroscientific insights and adult learning theory, delves into the instructor’s pivotal role in shaping future Montessori educators. Our discussions cover topics such as creating an adult prepared environment, designing effective learning experiences for aspiring teachers, and implementing the Montessori approach to assessment and feedback.

Class 3: Materials Part 1

In Materials 1, Instructor Candidates will examine the key characteristics and aims of the Montessori materials, analyze their purpose, and discuss the rationale for supplemental materials in the Montessori classroom as it relates to the adult learner experience. 

Class 4: Who is the Child

In Who is the Child Instructor Candidates will revisit Dr. Montessori’s foundational framework for understanding and observing children. This class will also explore the importance of the relationship between the Planes of Development and the Sensitive Periods and how to convey this importance to future teacher educators. In addition, participants will discuss the Montessori pedagogy, specifically examining its pivotal role in cultivating education for peace through meaningful interactions with the child.

Class 5: Who is the Teacher

This class will challenge you to reflect on your own practice as a scientist, servant, and saint as we examine the vital role of the teacher as an authentic model.

Class 6: Materials Part 2

In this class we will look at design strategies for teaching adult learners how to move beyond memorizing a script to gathering a deep understanding of how and why the materials work.


The in-residence portion of the AMS Teacher Education Instructor Academy is centered around a 4-day experience that explores the methodology of the Montessori learning materials.

Drawing from prior online learning experiences, your cohort will come together in a model Montessori learning environment and deconstruct Montessori learning philosophy as it centers around the materials. Together you will reconnect with and rediscover the true intentions, complexities, and synergies of materials in your classroom’s age range. You will learn techniques for presenting these materials to future Montessori teachers and how to convey their power to these adult learners.

This is also your opportunity to bond with your fellow instructors and form a close-knit, career-long support network for yourself. This peer-to-peer professional relationship network is the foundation of our community and supports the advancement of the Montessori Method nationally and worldwide.


Just as you engaged in a practicum when you became a teacher, so too will you receive practical experience in your transformation into a teacher educator.

You will partner with an AMS-affiliated teacher education program of your choice. All of our programs have met the rigorous standards for quality teacher preparation as set forth by AMS, and thus are an ideal place for you to absorb high-fidelity practices in adult education.

About the Facilitator


Natasha McKenzie

Natasha M. McKenzie holds an Early Childhood credential and boasts over two decades of experience in the field. Throughout her career, she has assumed various roles, including lead guide, field consultant, school consultant, and teacher educator. Currently, Natasha serves as an Instructor Academy Facilitator and Coordinator for the American Montessori Society, demonstrating her unwavering dedication to fostering the growth and development of educators and students within the Montessori community.

Natasha’s educational journey includes a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of North Florida and a Master of Education with a specialization in Montessori Studies from Plymouth State University in New Hampshire. Her global footprint is evident through extensive teaching engagements across international settings, spanning China, Vietnam, Tibet, Taiwan, Canada, and the United States. When not traversing the globe, Natasha calls St. Augustine, Florida, her home.

Learn to guide future educators with AMS Teacher Education Instructor Academy.


Members: $3000 | Applications accepted on a rolling basis

Share this class:

By applying to this program, you are agreeing to AMS Terms of Service.

Have a question about this class?      Contact Us