In a Montessori classroom the place of the traditional teacher is held by a fully trained Montessori director or directress. Montessori directresses typically have a normal teacher qualification as well as an additional one-year full-time Montessori teacher education diploma. The directress is a guide or facilitator whose task it is to support the young child in his or her process of self-development. The directress is foremost an observer, unobtrusively yet carefully monitoring each child’s development, recognising and interpreting each child’s needs.

The directress provides a link between the child and the prepared environment, introducing the child to each piece of equipment when he or she is ready in a precise, clear and enticing way. On a broader level the directress provides a link between the classroom and the parent, meeting with each child’s parents to discuss progress. She needs to be an example; calm, consistent, courteous and caring. The most important attribute of a directress is the love and respect she holds for each child’s total being.