In the Montessori classroom the place of traditional teachers is held by the “Director”. The Montessori Director usually has traditional teacher qualifications as well as Montessori teacher training. The Director is a guide or facilitator whose task is to support the young child in his process of development.
The Director is foremost an observer, unobtrusively yet carefully monitoring each child’s development, recognising and interpreting each child’s needs. The Director provides a link between the child and the prepared environment, introducing the child to each piece of equipment when he is ready. The Director does this in a precise, clear and enticing way.
The Director has both an active and a passive role: active in his/her personal interaction with the child within the environment, and passive in allowing development to continue without unnecessary interference. The active role includes preparation of the classroom and presentation of materials to the child. The Director then steps back and becomes an observer, assessing and documenting the reactions and behaviour of the child and watching how the child is managing with the discovery process.
On a broader level the Director provides a link between the classroom and the parent, meeting with each child’s parent to discuss progress. The Director needs to be an example: calm, consistent, courteous and caring. The most important attribute of a Director is the love and respect he/she holds for each child’s total being.