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PRACTICUM/INTERNSHIP

 

 

 

 

"The work of education is divided between the teacher and the environment."

 

    -Dr. Maria Montessori

 

The function of the internship is to provide a supervised teaching and learning experience for the adult learner.  It is a period of observation, internalization and further study to bring together the theory and practice of Montessori education.  The internship/student teaching experience follows the summer academic phase of the training program and will cover two full academic school years in the classroom of a VCMS approved and supported by a Montessori-certified supervising teacher.  The second academic school year of the practicum provides additional support and mentorship as the adult learner integrates the academic knowledge with practical class experience.  The practicum is scheduled for a five-day week for a minimum of four hours per day in a mixed age group (2 Ĺ - 6 year-old) of children for nine consecutive months.  The practicum minimum for adult learners who elect for fulfill all academic assignments in one school year will be for a five-day week of four hours a day  for nine consecutive months or a minimum of 540 clock hours in a mixed age group of children.  The internship must occur in a VCMS approved school under the direction of an approved Montessori-certified supervising teacher.  The practicum must begin by the end of the first academic summer session unless VCMS grants permission to complete the student teaching in the second school year of the program cycle.

Adult learners may begin the practicum / internship period following:

  • Full attendance and participation in all academic sessions (including intensive summer phase prior to the first year of student teaching)
  • Satisfactory completion of all assignments required during summer academic phase
  • All financial obligations and enrollment documents must be current.   

PRACTICUM SITE SCHOOL STANDARDS

The school must be an AMS member school unless a request showing sufficient cause for an exception is made to and granted by VCMS. A non-AMS member school must meet AMS school standards. The school must meet all local and state licensing requirements.  The school must have a written non-discrimination policy for children and staff.  The school will provide a supervising teacher (unless the adult learner is doing a self-directed practicum) and a classroom with the full complement of Montessori materials.  

 

INTERN OPTIONS

As a student teacher, the adult learner has three options for fulfilling the practicum requirements.  The adult leaner may be employed by a school as an assistant, or may need to be in a non-paid internship position or have a self-directed internship.

 

Experienced adult learners who meet the required qualifications may be permitted to do a self-directed internship when a qualified supervising teacher is not available.  VCMS will determine if the intern has the maturity and skills necessary to successfully fulfill the self-directed internship requirements and direct a Montessori class. 

 

VCMS reserves the right to assign additional internship hours if deemed necessary to ensure the adult learnerís success as a Montessori teacher.

 

INTERN EMPLOYMENT

VCMS does not employ interns as adult learner teachers, classroom teachers or assistants.  Interns who are employed by a school must accept and fulfill that schoolís employment responsibilities.  The school is to provide a written job description and an employment contract/agreement acceptable to the school and the intern.  The school agrees to provide the necessary time off to participate in the VCMS seminars and to do outside observations.  

  

SPONSORED INTERNSHIPS

A sponsored internship occurs when a school agrees to pay all or part of an internís VCMS tuition or makes a tuition loan to the adult learner.  In exchange, the adult learner agrees to teach at the school for a specified amount of time.  The school must provide a contract/agreement acceptable to the school and the intern.  The adult learner is asked to sign a release stating that VCMS may share information about the adult learnerís progress when requested by the head of school or at the VCMS directorís discretion.