• Early Childhood Program

Overview

The child from late toddlerhood through the kindergarten year is in a critical period of growth and actively seeks out opportunities to satisfy curiosity about the world. The adult’s role is to guide the child by facilitating choice and becoming a partner in learning experiences. The early childhood environment reflects order, with attention to organization of curriculum materials into logical groupings, and provides multiple opportunities for meaningful interactions with peers and materials to support growing coordination and concentration. Adult learners at WSMS-TEP study developmental needs and milestones of children, practice keen observation and record keeping strategies, master the essential material presentations, and discuss the importance of leading a team of professionals for the benefit of children and their families. The instructor-to-student ratio for the program is 1:20.

Academic Phase

The Academic Phase consists of 300+ hours of coursework in Montessori theory and practice completed at West Side Montessori School on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

Practicum Phase: Student Teaching

In the Practicum Phase, students apply the knowledge they have gained from the Academic Phase in a supervised student teaching placement. Students are responsible for finding their own placement, though we will offer suggestions of schools that we have found to be successful student teaching sites. The student teacher must work for a minimum of a half-day classroom schedule from September to June in an approved Montessori school under the supervision of an approved supervising teacher. The Practicum Phase follows the completion of the Academic Phase, no more than two years after the last academic course. No portion of the Practicum Phase may precede the Academic Phase.

Practicum Seminar Weekends

Two Practicum Seminar weekends are held during November and April of the Practicum Phase year. The Practicum Seminar weekends meet on Friday from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m., and Saturday-Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Practicum Seminars include additional academic content, practical exams and supplemental workshop sessions.

Format Options

The Early Childhood credential program at WSMS-TEP provides two options for completion. Students without prior experience working in a Montessori environment are encouraged to enroll in Track 2, which allows sufficient time to practice material presentations in a classroom before entering the Practicum Phase.

Track 1: Accelerated six-week summer program

This format can be completed in one or two years 

  • Academic Phase: Classes meet over six weeks during one summer, late June through early August, Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Practicum Phase: One academic year of student teaching follows the Academic Phase. Two Practicum Seminars are held in November and April of the student teaching year.
Track 2: Year of Saturday classes followed by three-week summer program

This format can be completed in two or three years

    • Academic Phase: From September through late April, classes meet on approximately two Saturdays each month, 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Classes meet for three weeks in mid-July to early August, Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
    • Practicum Phase: One academic year of student teaching follows the Academic Phase. Two Practicum Seminars are held in November and April of the student teaching year.

Questions?

Lisanne Pinciotti
Early Childhood Program Level Coordinator
lpinciotti@wsmsnyc.org

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