Educational Background and Training
The school aspires to ensure that Young Children’s Community, Primary, Elementary, Middle School, and High School teachers are trained in Montessori pedagogy under the auspices of the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI). In cases where a Montessori training center is associated with a university, a master’s degree can be earned in conjunction with the Montessori diploma. Even when this is not so, the Montessori training is the equivalent of master’s degree coursework. Middle School and High School teachers and specialists hold degrees with a concentration in their area of specialty.
Faculty are expected to complete a minimum of 20 hours of professional development each year, which may include attendance at national or local conferences, university courses, or in-service work sponsored by Post Oak. The school supports the ongoing professional development of its faculty by providing both funds and release time.
There are a total of four days when classes are out of session and staff members are present on campus for professional activities. These days are used for a number of purposes, including workshops, faculty meetings, and preparation of the environment. Professional development days are marked on the school calendar. Each faculty or administrative staff member may also be granted other professional days to attend meetings, seminars, and workshops, or to observe other schools.
In addition, faculty are present on campus for one or two weeks prior to the opening of school in the fall, and for three days after school dismisses for the summer, in order to prepare the classroom environments and teaching materials. A Montessori classroom is a highly enriched and complex environment that demands much time and effort from the faculty to prepare and maintain. Consequently, Montessori schools typically devote more days to preparation than other schools.
The current median tenure for teachers at Post Oak is six years (and many teachers come to Post Oak with years of experience in other schools). At the same time, some faculty turnover is inevitable from year to year. Changes in faculty for the coming school year are formally announced, after contracts are signed, in letters to parents in the spring of each year. Later changes are announced in mid-summer.
The school advertises locally and nationally when there are openings. Faculty members, division directors, and the head of school participate in the hiring process. In addition, the school annually seeks to recruit candidates to be trained as Montessori teachers. Final responsibility in all hiring rests with the head.
Faculty Web Biographies
Check the staff directory for web biographies: it’s an easy way to get to know your child’s teachers and to learn more about the faculty and staff of The Post Oak School.