Principal Hiring Interview Rubric

As in any school, leadership in public Montessori programs is crucial. In most public Montessori programs, the instructional leader will hold the title of Principal. In some programs the Principal is assisted by a Montessori Coach, Program Coordinator or Lead Teacher. As a rule of thumb, the more Montessori knowledge there can be at the top, the better for the program. The ideal instructional leader for any Montessori school is an individual with a Montessori diploma from a highly respected training center. Without this theoretical and practical background, leaders are significantly impeded in their ability to

  • Evaluate Montessori instruction
  • Communicate with teachers about their work
  • Make programmatic decisions consistent with Montessori tenets
  • Represent the program to parents, public officials, and other stakeholders

In most public Montessori programs, administrators will need to have state certification, which limits the pool of individuals with strong Montessori experience. Likewise, some individuals without formal Montessori training demonstrate the capacity to lead a Montessori school. These individuals have usually had direct experience with Montessori education. These individuals are able to articulate the logic and language of Montessori and – just as important – they are aware of the gaps in their knowledge and seek opportunities to fill those gaps through ongoing consultation with Montessori trainers and/or continuing adult Montessori education.

This rubric presents types of responses to key interview questions for the position of instructional leader. Responses that indicate strong knowledge of Montessori theory and practice are represented on the left side of the rubric. Because the language of Montessori theory and practice is specific, interviewers should listen for words and phrases such as normalization, work (including work cycle and work period), prepared environment, materials, independence, and concentration. Interviewees who demonstrate no use of this vocabulary or who confuse self-direction with free play or center-based work do not have a strong foundation for leading a Montessori school.

Download: Principal Hiring Interview Rubric