Primary Teacher Training Course

in Phoenix, Arizona | Training Future Teachers of Children Ages 2½ through 6 | September 2018—June 2019
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With our world-class Montessori teacher training program, you'll earn your AMI Montessori certification and join a community of sought-after Montessori professionals.

In taking this course, you'll learn to use Montessori materials and give Montessori lessons for 2½- through 6-year-olds; develop a deep understanding of Montessori theory and child development; and gain the confidence and expertise needed to direct your own primary Montessori classroom.

Jumpstart your career. Sign up for info or Apply today.

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A Day in the Life of a SIMS Student

Our Primary Training course runs evenings from Monday to Friday, from 4 to 8:30pm (except for early Fridays, which end at 6:30pm!). The session runs from September 2018–June 2019.

A typical evening at SIMS includes lecture or presentation time with your trainer, then time to practice working with new material with fellow students in our practice classroom. You’ll be supported by our SIMS trainer and course assistants, as you work closely with fellow students to solidify your knowledge and understanding.

4:00PM – 5:00PM

Lecture: Focus on Montessori Theory

5:00PM – 6:30PM

Practical Life Exercises: Demonstrations

6:30PM – 7:15PM

Dinner Break

7:15PM – 8:30PM

Hands-on Practice: Montessori Materials & Exercises

7:15PM – 8:30PM

Student Practice: Prepared Environment Work

SIMS Chinese Student Enrollment in Collaboration with MICD

The Southwest Institute of Montessori Studies (SIMS) offers a supportive and rigorous training program with translation into Chinese, Chinese albums and exams, individualized planning for observation and practice teaching, and an exciting American experience! We’ll set up your accommodations in Phoenix, match you with a local student to help you settle in, make sure you feel at home by introducing you to nearby Chinese markets, and organize optional visits to exciting places like the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas.

Please Note: SIMS is pleased to announce that it will be accepting students who wish to transfer their application from MICD in China. This will be a comprehensive program that will allow you to complete your AMI primary training and have a broader experience in the US with a group of Chinese students also studying to become Montessori teachers. Find out why students from around the world have chosen SIMS!

For Chinese students interested in attending our Chinese-speaking AMI training in the United States, there are two options:

  • 1.

    Our partnership with MICD allows you to transfer your existing MICD application to us by filling out a simple form. We will then communicate directly with MICD regarding your existing application.
    Transfer Your Application Now

  • 2.

    You are also welcome to apply directly to SIMS if you do not have an application on file with MICD (the SIMS application process is in English, but we will still be happy to include you in our Chinese-speaking cohort and program).
    Apply Directly to SIMS


西南蒙台梭利研究院(SIMS)向广大学员提供严谨的培训项目,并且培训课程配有中文翻译, 中文手册和中文考试, 一对一个性化的观察和实践教学规划,以及激动人心的美国生活体验!


会向您推荐周围附近的中国超市,会一起帮助您适应在美国的生活并确保您感受到家的温暖。平时我们还会协助安排组织可选择性的著名景点参观活动, 比如令人兴奋的大峡谷和拉斯维加斯。

注意事项: SIMS很荣幸的宣布将接受希望从中国MICD转移申请的学生。这个综合性的项目将会帮助您完成您的AMI 3-6主班老师培训课程。您将还有机会和其他将要成为蒙台梭利教师的中国学生一起感受在美国学习和生活的广泛经历。了解来自世界各地的学生选择SIMS的理由!

  • 1.

    由于我们与MICD的合作关系, 您只需填写一张简单的表单就能将您现有的MICD申请转移给我们。我们将直接与MICD沟通并处理您已有的申请
    Transfer Your Application Now

  • 2.

    如果您还没有向MICD提交申请, 我们同样欢迎您直接通过SIMS申请。(SIMS申请过程是用英文填写,但我们仍然很高兴将您列入我们中文授课团队项目)
    SIMS 英语申请

I have met some of my soulmates in this course! When you put your whole heart into something you believe in, it seeks out hearts just like it!

— Alyssa Zander, SIMS Student

So How Does It Work?

Your training will prepare you to lead a Montessori Primary classroom, called a “Children’s House.” The course includes 850 hours of rigorous teacher preparation. Upon completion of the course, you’ll have a diploma from the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI), which is the only internationally-recognized Montessori diploma, and the gold standard in Montessori teacher education.

  • What You'll Learn

    Areas of study include:

    • Child development and psychology

    • The philosophy of the Montessori approach

    • The Exercises of Practical Life and the child’s acquisition of skills which lead to functional independence

    • Sensorial development

    • The development of spoken and written language

    • Strategies for classroom management

    • Geography, history, art, biology & music

    • Mathematics

  • How You'll Learn

    Coursework includes:

    • Lectures on Montessori philosophy and pedagogy

    • Demonstrations of the use of scientifically-designed and practical life Montessori materials

    • Extensive hands-on practice with the materials

    • 3 weeks of classroom observation in Montessori schools

    • 4 weeks of student teaching under the supervision of an AMI-certified teacher

    • Material making and classroom curriculum development

    • Based on coursework, you will write teaching reference books, referred to as "albums,"* which will serve you throughout your career. Compiling your albums deepens and solidifies your knowledge, preparing you for future work with children. Albums are a source of great pride for every Montessori Guide!

  • What You'll Get

    Upon completion, you'll have:

    • An AMI Montessori diploma, certifying you to educate children aged 2½ to 6 using the Montessori pedagogy

    • An internationally-recognized and highly in-demand credential

    • The confidence and expertise you need to successfully direct your own classroom

    Note: Spanish Option Available!

    Our SIMS trainer is fluent in Spanish. Typically the course is delivered in English, but students can ask questions, complete course work (including albums), and complete written examinations in Spanish.

* A basic level of computer literacy is helpful in composing albums.
Translation may be arranged if a large cohort of Spanish-speakers are registered for the course.

Cost of Training

Please review course costs for international students thoroughly before submitting your application:

    • Total Tuition for Academic Year 2018–19: $10,500 (please see Tuition & Payment Options below for details and financing fees).

    • Application Fee: $150 (must be submitted with your Application Transfer)

    • International Student Fee (reduced rate for MICD transfer students): $150

    • Non-Refundable Tuition Deposit: $1,000 (due upon acceptance and applied toward your tuition)

    • Cost of Living: Approximately $1,500 USD per month (includes $900/month for arranged accommodations shared by Chinese students) or $14,250 for the 10-month academic year. Note: Students are fully responsible for all costs of travel, food, and housing throughout their course of study.


在提交申请之前, 国际学生请仔细阅读课程费用:

    • 2018–19年一学年课程或: 10500美元(详情请见以上列出的学费和付款方式)

    • 申请费 150美元(必须随转学申请一起缴纳)

    • 国际学生费(MICD转学生特惠价): 150美元

    • 不可退还学费押金: 1000美元 (于录取之时缴纳, 之后会被计入学费)

    • 生活费: 每月约$ 1500美元(包括中国学生每月900美元合租住宿费用)或全学年十个月住宿费约$ 14250美元。注意:学生在整个学习过程中承担全部交通,食物和住房的所有费用。)

Meet Your Trainer | Ann Velasco

Ann Velasco is a passionate AMI trainer who has devoted her life to Montessori pedagogy and practice. She has pursued Montessori to the highest levels with the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI), and yet she stays focused on the hands-on, daily practice of working with children.

Ann’s own mother was a Montessori teacher, and she first discovered the lifetime benefits of the Montessori approach through her own experience as a young child. But it wasn’t until it came time for her to choose an education for her own child that she fully realized how lucky she had been. Inspired by a desire to bring Montessori to more children, she walked away from a successful career in the business world to become a Montessori teacher herself.

Ann has completed both primary and elementary training, and has guided classrooms at both levels. From there, she pursued the rigorous, multi-year process required to become an AMI teacher trainer herself. Ann’s years of experience teaching at both the early childhood and the elementary levels provide her with a unique ability to see the connections between profound Montessori ideas and real-world classroom practice. She knows the child’s full journey. This powerful understanding underlies Ann’s work as a trainer today.

Ann is approachable and highly knowledgeable, and as you complete your training, your relationship with Ann becomes a relationship for life.

认识你的培训师 | Ann Velasco

Ann Velasco已完成3-6主班老师培训课程和小学主教AMI蒙台梭利培训课程,并指导两个级别的教室。之后, 她经过多年严谨的培训, 她成为了AMI培训师。

Ann在幼儿和小学领域有多年的教学经验。这些经验带给她独特的能力去理解蒙台梭利思想与现实世界的教学实践之间的紧密联系。她明白一个孩子成长的全部旅程。这种深刻的理解能力移殖于Ann每天的培训工作中. Ann平易近人,知识渊博。她培训过许多来自世界各地的学生。

Attend an Information Session

If you're thinking about applying to SIMS training, join us for an information session. You'll meet Ann Velasco, our SIMS trainer, and learn more about the Montessori approach and how it opens doors for children to learn with joy.

You'll learn all about the AMI primary training program at SIMS; find out about how the role of a Montessori teacher is different, and how that difference can benefit the children you teach; and, if the info session is on our campus, see our model Montessori classroom and explore the beautiful materials and environment within. Sign up now to join us at:

  • Information Session

    • Where: Augustus H. Shaw Jr. Public Montessori School

    • Address: 123 N 13th St, Phoenix

    • When: November 18, 2017

    • Time: 10:00 am — 12:00 pm

    • RSVP Now
  • Information Session

    • Where: Augustus H. Shaw Jr. Public Montessori School

    • Address: 123 N 13th St, Phoenix

    • When: December 9, 2017

    • Time: 10:00 am — 12:00 pm

    • RSVP Now
  • Information Session

    • Where: Augustus H. Shaw Jr. Public Montessori School

    • Address: 123 N 13th St, Phoenix

    • When: January 27, 2018

    • Time: 10:00 am — 12:00 pm

    • RSVP Now
  • Information Session

    • Where: Augustus H. Shaw Jr. Public Montessori School

    • Address: 123 N 13th St, Phoenix

    • When: February 24, 2018

    • Time: 10:00 am — 12:00 pm

    • RSVP Now
  • Information Session

    • Where: Augustus H. Shaw Jr. Public Montessori School

    • Address: 123 N 13th St, Phoenix

    • When: March 24, 2018

    • Time: 10:00 am — 12:00 pm

    • RSVP Now
  • Information Session

    • Where: Augustus H. Shaw Jr. Public Montessori School

    • Address: 123 N 13th St, Phoenix

    • When: April 21, 2018

    • Time: 10:00 am — 12:00 pm

    • RSVP Now

Visit Us or Book a Tour

Come and see our training center in action! Visit a class, see a practice session in our practice classroom, and meet our trainer and current students. We'd love to show you around! If you're out of town, we're also available for Skype sessions or phone calls.

Book a Time

An American Experience

You’ll have the opportunity to make new friends, practice your English, and be immersed in American culture. Upon arrival, you’ll be matched with a current or past local SIMS student to help you feel at home here. We’re looking forward to helping you have an amazing experience at SIMS, and in the US!

Additionally, the cost of living in Phoenix is significantly lower than in most large American cities, making it a great option for students.

  • Discover Phoenix

    While attending training, you’ll enjoy the warm and sunny Arizona climate. You’ll have access to the rich experiences of a thriving culturally-diverse city, and many opportunities to explore the outdoors in the beautiful natural areas in and around Phoenix.

  • Visit U.S. Attractions

    Throughout the course, the training center will connect students with opportunities to explore nearby areas such as the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas, so that you are able to take full advantage of your time at SIMS.

  • The Comforts of Home

    When you arrive, we’ll introduce you to nearby markets and local Chinese-speaking communities so that you can ease into American culture. SIMS will help students find suitable accommodations.


您将有机会结交新朋友, 练习英语能力并且沉浸在美国文化中。到达后, 我们将为您和一位当地的SIMS学生或者校友配对。他们会帮助您, 让您有宾至如归的感觉。我们期待着您在SIMS和在美国有一个美好的经历!

此外, 凤凰城的生活成本远远低于美国大多数大型城市。低廉的生活成本使其成为学生一个很好的选择。

  • 探索凤凰城


  • 参观美国景点

    在整个培训过程中,培训中心将提供学生去探索附近景区的机会, 如大峡谷和拉斯维加斯, 以便学生能够充分利用在SIMS的时间。

  • 家一般的舒适


Tuition, Payment Dates & Course Schedule

The total tuition for Primary Teacher Training Courses starting in 2018 is $10,500. To secure your spot, a $1,000 non-refundable deposit is due upon acceptance and is applied toward your tuition(scroll down for information about financing options, scholarships, Master’s degree, and career support).

Click here to access the detailed course schedule for the upcoming Academic Year course.

For your convenience in making the remainder of your tuition payment(s), you'll be able to choose one of the following payment plans*:

  • Option 1

    A single installment of $9,500, due by:

    • September 1, 2018

  • Option 2

    3 installments of $3,370, due by:

    • September 1, 2018

    • December 1, 2018

    • March 1, 2019

  • Option 3

    8 monthly installments of $1,350, due monthly from September 1, 2018 through April 1, 2019.

* Payment options shown are for the 2018-19 Academic Year course.
Please note: A finance fee will be charged for Options 2 and 3, and is included in payment amounts listed above.




  • 选项1


  • 选项2

    三次分期付款, 每次缴纳3370美元。每期付款截止日期为:

    • 第一期:2018年09月01日

    • 第一期:2018年12月01日

    • 第一期:2019年03月01日

  • 选项3

    八个月分期付款,每月缴纳1350美元, 于每月1日付清。从2018年09月01日开始到2019年04月01日为止

* 以上付款方式为2018-19学年课程。
注意事项: 如选择2和3 付款方式,学生需缴纳除学费之外的手续费。该手续费已被计入以上每笔分期付款费用中。

The teacher must derive not only the capacity, but the desire, to observe natural phenomena. The teacher must understand and feel her position of observer: the activity must lie in the phenomenon.

— Maria Montessori

Career Support

Concurrent with your training, SIMS organizes job fairs and supports students with practice teaching opportunities. Once you’ve graduated from our program, SIMS leverages its excellent reputation and connections in the community to support graduates to step into their career on the right foot. When you enroll with SIMS, you’re not just receiving your training—you’re joining a family, and you’ll have our help and support as you begin your new career in Montessori education.

  • An Active School Network

    Your observation and practice placement will take advantage of our established network of AMI Montessori schools, so that you can get to know schools in the area.

  • Career Fairs

    SIMS will host a yearly career fair to introduce you to representatives of Montessori schools that might be a fit for you.

  • Our Job Board & Recruiting Network

    Through SIMS’ online job board, you’ll have access to job postings from schools around the world looking for AMI-trained Montessori teachers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will my AMI diploma be accepted in other countries?

Yes! Your AMI diploma is the gold standard in Montessori education, and is the only internationally-recognized Montessori teacher training available. Schools around the world seek out and hire AMI-trained Montessori teachers.

Is a bachelor's degree required to enroll in the training?

No. Our goal is that every person who starts our course will complete it successfully. If you do not have a bachelor’s degree, we’ll interview you to ensure that you are prepared to be successful in the course before you are accepted. If you have questions about this before your interview, please talk with us in person and we can advise you on your specific situation.

Can you guarantee a job placement upon completion of the course?

A job placement is not guaranteed upon completion of the course, but all graduates of our previous courses have found a position in a Montessori in the September following their graduation. We arrange job fairs, schedule your observations and practice teaching at schools that may be a good fit (when possible), and receive job postings from schools all year long, which are shared with our students. Since AMI-trained Montessori teachers are in high demand, our students typically end up in jobs they love!

Are there scholarships available?

Yes! Several scholarships are available through SIMS, and others are available externally. We encourage you to apply for these, and to look into other scholarships as well. Follow this link to see more about the scholarships we are aware of.

Is there such a thing as a Master's degree in Montessori?

Yes! SIMS partners with Loyola University Maryland to offer a joint AMI primary diploma and Master’s degree program. Students must have completed a bachelor’s degree before enrolling in this program. A student loan program that can support tuition at both SIMS and Loyola is available through Loyola. To find out more, attend one of our information sessions or follow this link.

What is the average income of an AMI-trained Montessori teacher?

Income varies by area, experience, school size, and education level. This AMI Salary inventory will give you insight into the variables that apply to you.

What is the typical career path of a Montessori teacher?

A career in Montessori can follow many different pathways. Whether you are a student just completing college, a teacher feeling disillusioned with traditional education, a mom who has been inspired by your child’s Montessori experience, an assistant in a Montessori classroom ready to make the leap, or someone who has just discovered Montessori and knows it’s for you, there is a place for you in this rapidly-growing field. Montessori teachers may start their own schools, take positions in public, private, or charter Montessori schools, start a day home or small school in their own home, or use their knowledge of Montessori to support them as counsellors, occupational therapists, or school administrators. Where you take your Montessori diploma is up to you!