• Elementary Program

    Elementary I: 6 to 9 years old
    Elementary I-II: 6 to 12 years old

The Elementary child is entering a new phase of life; one that is characterized by expansion of the imagination, social interests, and physical stamina.

The independence that has been built during the early years now serves the child in exploring the curriculum in greater depth. Children work collaboratively and cooperatively with their peers, and have a newfound fascination in maintaining social justice within their school community and the world at large. The teacher promotes the sense of imagination by offering inspirational stories that prompt curious questions. The Elementary environment is well-organized, individualized, and provides many opportunities for peer interactions and focused concentration. Adult learners at WSMS-TEP continue to study developmental milestones and practice the art of observation and documentation, practice with materials and the art of storytelling, but also learn how to promote individual exploration and creative responses as they explore age-appropriate lessons and discover how children make connections to the real world.

Academic Phase

The Academic Phase (300+ hours for EL I and 500+ hours for EL I-II) consists of non-degree-bearing coursework in Montessori theory and practice. Elementary credential programs are offered through a hybrid format. In-person classes are held at West Side Montessori School (309 West 92nd Street, New York, NY 10025) and Metropolitan Montessori School (325 West 85th Street, New York, NY 10024), online sessions via our Learning Management Systems (Canvas, PowerSchool), and virtual sessions via Zoom. Adult learners at WSMS-TEP study developmental needs and milestones of children, practice observation and record keeping strategies, work to master the essential material presentations, and learn the importance of optimistic leadership for the benefit of children and their families.

Practicum Phase: Student Teaching

During the Practicum Phase, adult learners apply the knowledge they gain from the academic coursework 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 practicum sites. The intern must work for a minimum of a six-hour daily classroom schedule from September to June in an approved Montessori school under the supervision of an approved supervising teacher. No portion of the practicum may precede the start of academic coursework.

Program Format

WSMS-TEP’s Elementary Programs prepare adult learners for the American Montessori Society (AMS) Elementary I (ages 6 to 9 years) or Elementary I-II (ages 6 to 12 years) credentials. The Elementary credential programs at WSMS-TEP begin in the summer months and continue with several academic sessions on weekends throughout the school year. Adult learners may enter the Practicum Phase in the first school year in an EL I environment with anticipated graduation the following June. Adult learners who wish to continue with EL II, return for a second summer to complete academic classes for that level. Practicum in an EL II environment may begin after the second summer.


Sheba Kapur
Elementary Level Coordinator

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