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Child-Centered Community-based Educator Formation

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We believe that all children, especially those in our most vulnerable communities, deserve access to an excellent child-centered education. Achieving this vision in the public sector requires an integrative teacher training program that supports educators in obtaining both a nationally recognized Montessori teacher certification and State Teaching Licensure/Endorsements in Early Childhood Education or Elementary Education.


Whether new to teaching or a veteran public school educator, the Arete Montessori Teacher Residency (Arete) is a two summer, one academic year intensive job-embedded teacher residency sponsored by a public Montessori school. Depending on your experience and the needs of the sponsoring school, the academic year teacher residency may be completed as a teacher of record or as a teacher assistant.


Arete Residents engage in a community-based educator formation model that integrates high-quality Montessori training with intentional CULTURE and evidence-based CORE educator practices supported by a professional COMMUNITY of rigorous, child-centered teamwork, mentorship, and collaborative coaching.

Arete is rooted in the cultural practices of the Libertas Memphis Teacher Residency at the Libertas School of Memphis, which fosters an attachment village community, while investing in the career sustainability and ongoing professional development and transformation of public Montessori educators. 

Culture . Core . Community



Cultivating the mind, hands, and heart for the work of human flourishing

A primary reason for the Residency’s success has been its job-embedded, in-house teacher residency program that meets high academic standards while also meeting the needs of its community through a culturally responsive “attachment village” - a philosophy in which families, educators, and community members surround children with love and expectations of their potential greatness. Cultivating academics, sensorial / physical development, and character virtues, this is a model of education for “human flourishing.” The in-house residency has built a stable core of Montessori trained and state-certified teachers and is now expanding its residency program to other public Montessori programs in the mid-South region.


Essential knowledge, critical dispositions, and evidence-based educator practices integrated with high-fidelity to Montessori principles and pedagogy

Public Montessori educators are charged with developing a specific repertoire of knowledge and skills beyond what is provided in traditional teacher preparation programs in order to effectively guide, assess, and nurture a community of children in a multi-age classroom, while at the same time meeting public school academic standards and grade level expectations. Arete is committed to being on the forefront of Montessori (child-centered) integrative studies, the transference between child-centered pedagogy and current evidence-based practices in teaching and learning. Arete's residency program is designed to form communities of practice that grow Residents' capacity and efficacy to be vitally responsive practitioners in the communities they serve. As knowledgeable and caring guides, Montessori educators apply their understanding of child development to create the conditions necessary for children to increasingly lead their learning with the leadership of their peers within a nurturing environment. Montessori educators continuously develop their scientific observation skills and reflective practice to provide children with freedom within the appropriate boundaries to create natural opportunities for each child to develop independence, citizenship, and responsibility. Individual children embrace multi-sensory learning and follow their own curiosity/passionate inquiry at their own pace, taking the time they need to fully understand each concept and meet individualized learning goals.


A professional community of trust and rigorous, child-centered teamwork

More than teacher knowledge and skills, Montessori educator formation is transformative in that it supports each Resident in becoming the educator they want to become through a supportive adult learning community committed to rigorous, child-centered reflective practice. The transformation of becoming a Montessori educator requires a period of clinical apprenticeship. During the first intensive 4-week summer session, an experienced public Montessori educator, content and instructional leader, known as a Practicum Guide, facilitates a Community of Practice with a team of six - twelve Residents. The Practicum Guide equips and builds the capacity of Residents through modeling, collaborative Montessori studies, ongoing reflection, coaching, and focused professional development. This Community of Practice component of the Residency plays a pivotal role in the teacher formation process. The Community of Practice aims to elevate the level of growth and professional practice within a public school context that is relational to the Resident’s job-embedded clinical practice - student outcomes and the communities of practice in which they work.

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