How to Become a Montessori Teacher in South Carolina

Oct 20, 2021

The Montessori method of teaching was devised by the Italian researcher, Maria Montessori. It seeks to allow children to develop educationally and psychologically in an innate fashion with the belief that this will result in optimal development. Aspiring Montessori teachers who want to teach in public schools in South Carolina can obtain Montessori certification as part of their initial certification or as an add-on endorsement.

Montessori Teacher Certification Requirements in South Carolina

Average Salary for Teachers in South Carolina (2019)* $28,380 (Preschool), $54,710 (Kindergarten), $53,450 (Elementary), $55,180 (Middle), $56,730 (Secondary)
Required Degree Bachelor's degree
Degree Field Education
Testing Requirements Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators; Principles of Learning and Teaching (PPAT or edTPA optional); Praxis II Subject Area test

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Earn a Degree

In South Carolina, Montessori teacher candidates must complete the minimum of a bachelor's degree that incorporates an educator preparation program. For those wishing to obtain Montessori certification as part of their initial teacher certificate, the degree should also include a Montessori training program designed for the grade levels they wish to teach. The program must be fully accredited by the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE). The Montessori courses will include classes that introduce the Montessori pedagogical process, advanced development of the learner, and Montessori methods and materials.

For teachers who hold an existing teacher certificate, the Montessori teaching credentials can be added on by completing a MACTE accredited program.

Step 2: Pass all Required Testing

All prospective teachers in South Carolina must pass certain assessments which are administered by ETS. In order to be accepted into an approved educator preparation program, teacher candidates must first take the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators tests, which consist of the following three tests:

  • Core Academic Skills for Educators: Reading (5712) (pass score - 156)
  • Core Academic Skills for Educators: Writing (5722) (pass score - 158)
  • Core Academic Skills for Educators: Mathematics (5732) (pass score - 142)

Next, towards the end of their preparation program, candidates must pass a pedagogy assessment (Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT). The PLT test a Montessori teacher candidate should take will depend on the grade levels they aspire to eventually teach - either early childhood, elementary education, or middle school education. According to the state website in 2018, 'plans are in place for a secondary Montessori program to be offered through grade 12.' The current options are as follows:

  • Principles of Learning and Teaching: Early Childhood (5621) (pass score - 157)
  • Principles of Learning and Teaching: Grades K-6 (5622) (pass score - 160)
  • Principles of Learning and Teaching: Grades 5-9 (5623) (pass score - 160)

In some instances, a South Carolina educator preparation program may require candidates to pass the PPAT assessment (pass score - 36), or an edTPA. These assessments are accepted by the South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE).

Finally, a teacher candidate must pass a Praxis specific licensure area test. Again, the test(s) a candidate needs to take will depend on the grade level(s) they wish to teach and in some instances the subject. Here are the options, with secondary to be determined:

  • Early Childhood Education - Education of Young Children (5024) (pass score - 160)
  • Elementary Education Elementary Education: Multiple Subjects (5001
    • Reading and Language Arts Subtest (5002) (pass score - 157)
    • Mathematics Subtest (5003) (pass score - 157)
    • Social Studies Subtest (5004) (pass score - 155)
    • Science Subtest (5005) (pass score - 159)
  • Middle School Education
    • Middle School English Language Arts (5047) (pass score - 164)
    • Middle School Mathematics (5169) (pass score - 165)
    • Middle School Science (5440) (pass score - 150)
    • Middle School Social Studies (5089) (pass score - 155)

Step 3: Apply for an Initial Teacher License with Montessori Education Endorsement

Initial teacher license applications should be made using the Certification Application Technology Services (CATS) online application system. Applicants need to include their official transcripts from their higher education program provider, along with a 'verification of college preparation recommendation for teacher certificate' form which should be filled out by the educator preparation program provider. Test scores should be sent to SCDE by ETS on request. Applicants must also submit a copy of their American Montessori Society credential and have their MACTE Program Provider complete a Montessori Recommendation Form, to also be submitted.

As part of the application, candidates must obtain student teaching clearance and complete a fingerprinting process. Application files should be in order six months prior to starting teaching. Successful applicants are awarded an Initial Educator Certificate (valid for three years).

South Carolina Teacher Certification Resources

South Carolina Teacher candidates should follow the links below to access our study guides which will help them prepare for their licensure exams:

  • Praxis exam preparation materials
  • Praxis Elementary Education - Multiple Subjects: Practice & Study Guide
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