Montessori Lead Guide (Teacher) – Job Description

Cypress Junction Montessori (CJM) is seeking highly qualified guides (teachers) with a passion for the Montessori philosophy.  CJM is a charter school for children aged three through middle school (8th grade). Located in downtown Winter Haven in Central Florida, CJM is a small community school just 5 minutes from Legoland and 45 minutes from Disney. Please visit our website at www.cypressjunction.org for more information.

Our Montessori Guides introduce the Montessori Method to our students and need to be flexible, aware and available in a manner different than traditional teachers. Our Montessori guides are observers and facilitators who encourage students to explore outside the prescribed classroom confines. CJM’s teaching team will interact in close and integrative manners, making interpersonal skills critical. In addition, CJM expects excellence in the following areas:

  • Instructional Process — The guide plans and implements a program of instruction that adheres to the specialized education program of the Montessori Method as well as includes the tenets of the Florida State Standards (or the current standards established by the state of Florida). Purposeful lesson planning is vital for effective teaching as well as addressing the individual needs of the student. Due to the integrative nature of the Montessori classroom, the guide is expected to be able to cross disciplines in instruction. The guide prepares students for lessons by capitalizing on prior knowledge and using critical thinking methods.
  • Collaboration — CJM guides must collaborate in the classroom and act as the model for appropriate and peaceful interaction. Guides collaborate with students, other Montessori guides, volunteers, parents, the Executive Director and the Principal of the school. Guides encourage student and community collaboration.
  • Classroom Climate and Culture — The guide creates a classroom environment that encourages student enthusiasm and assists in the development of good study habits. The guide capitalizes instructionally on spontaneous incidents in the classroom or beyond. The guide engages the students in quality discourse that allows for student examination of a variety of subjects, including tangential topics, without straying from the learning process. A quality classroom climate encourages thorough and self-directed learning while being adaptive to meet necessary standards. The guide always reacts constructively to student feelings and attitudes.
  • Student Assessment — The Montessori Guide assesses and evaluates student progress and adjusts instruction accordingly. The guide uses the assessment to ensure students are meeting appropriate learning goals. The guide reports this progress to students, parents and the Principal. This information is also used to inform instruction in such a way that student achievement goals are being met. Montessori guides should also be familiar with alternative assessment and comfortable including it in the classroom. Guides may use assessments like mastery learning, exhibitions, student portfolios, student self-assessment and presentations. If there is a reason for intervention with students, the guide is knowledgeable about options for students with disabilities as well as English language learners. The guide  assesses and evaluates student progress and adjusts instruction accordingly.
  • Curriculum — The guide is competent and current in a variety of subject matters and is willing to share this information for the continual improvement of school curriculum. The curricular revision process should be ongoing and evidence-based for the purpose of improving student achievement. The guide sees the world as a classroom and is constantly looking for ways to improve and expand the learning community. The ideal Montessori guide is forward thinking and capable of stepping outside the boundaries of traditional education in development and design of curriculum.
  • Classroom Management — The guide develops his or her own sense of appropriate classroom boundaries and how his or her personal philosophy resonates within the philosophy of the school as a community. The guide is vigilant in protecting students, equipment, facilities and the sanctity of the classroom space. Additionally, the guide acts positively, pleasantly and optimistically in the classroom in order to model similar behaviors for his or her students.
  • Professional Growth — The guide continues professional development through workshops, conferences, seminars and/or advanced coursework in education or a subject area. Membership in a professional Montessori education would assist guides in professional development.  In addition, guides may be asked to share with his or her colleagues any special training he or she may have received.
  • Parent Interaction — The Montessori guide is the initial contact point for parents who may have concerns or feedback regarding student performance. Effective guide/parent interaction is crucial for the development of healthy relationships in the school community. Guides are invited to attend parent involvement groups. They are required to keep lines of communications open with each parent beyond the minimum parent/guide conferences. The Montessori guide will also recognize the need for Principal intervention and initiate such intervention in a timely manner.

Montessori Lead Guides are responsible for:

  • Preparing the Montessori Environment – Keeping the environment neat, attractive, and orderly
  • Implementing the Montessori Philosophy
  • Presenting Montessori Materials and Principles
  • Observing Children
  • Ensuring the classroom has all the materials for all areas of the curriculum
  • Keeping the materials complete and in good condition
  • Ensuring the children in the classroom show an understanding of the expectations for behavior and functioning in the classroom
  • Having a good understanding of Montessori philosophy and materials
  • Demonstrating an understanding of how to manage a Montessori Classroom using the Montessori Philosophy
  • Modeling grace and courtesy in interactions with children, staff and parents
  • Working with parents and staff on developing a deeper understanding of the Montessori Philosophy and materials
  • Effectively introducing children to the materials in the classroom
  • Presenting concepts clearly and effectively
  • Working effectively with all age children in the classroom
  • Demonstrating lessons of grace and courtesy, taking responsibility, being self-disciplined and independent
  • Demonstrating the proper use of the Montessori materials as tools for academic growth and purposeful activity
  • Spending time each day in student observation
  • Monitoring and recording student progress
  • Developing lesson plans and presentations based on observations of students

Minimum Qualifications:

  • A broad base of knowledge from which to guide students
  • A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university
  • Montessori training or experience and/or a desire to obtain additional Montessori professional development
  • A Florida professional or temporary teaching certificate, or the ability and background to obtain one prior to the beginning of the school year
  • For Primary Level Guide – DCF 45 hour training and VPK credential

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Certification from AMI (Association Montessori Internationale), AMS (American Montessori Society), Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education, or other widely recognized Montessori program
  • Prior teaching or other experience working with children on a professional or volunteer basis
  • Experience working at a public charter school during the start-up phase
  • ESE Certification
  • Gifted Endorsement
  • Multiple Subject Area Certifications (for Middle School/Secondary Guides)
  • For Primary Level Guide – Staff credential, Director credential, and/or VPK credential

CJM currently follows the Polk County School Board salary schedule and can be furnished on request. Benefits are included.

Cypress Junction Montessori does not discriminate in employment opportunities or practices on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, marital status, age, disability, or other basis prohibited by law.

Qualified applicants should email a current resume (including a listing of current teaching certifications or endorsements), educational philosophy/personal statement (in lieu of a cover letter), and three references to: careers@cypressjunction.org