Gulf Coast Montessori T.E.C. A virtual tour of our facility

Our History

Gulf Coast Montessori Teacher Education Center (GCMTEC) was initially conceived after several years of our trainers working with other Montessori teacher education programs. The Director, Erika Ohlhaver, was also working with public school Montessori programs and realized that the previous timeline for educating Elementary I-II (ages six through twelve) teachers was not practical for the implementation of the Montessori method for new teachers. Following the new contact hours that were implemented by the American Montessori Society (AMS) for the Montessori I-II credential, Gulf Coast Montessori TEC has augmented them and produced the program that is currently offered by GCMTEC.

An Overview of the Program

This new structure allows for Elementary I-II teachers to complete the entire course in a more timely manner. This model will allow emerging teachers to be better supported through their first year of teaching by receiving instruction of Elementary II practices during their first year, instead of waiting until the second year course is taken. In addition, employers of GCMTEC Elementary I-II teachers can be assured of having a credentialed teacher in the classroom sooner than under the previous model.

Beauty, simplicity, and care is seen throughout every element.

Our Mission

The purpose of the Gulf Coast Montessori Teacher Education Center is to provide adult learning services that promote Montessori education and meet community needs. The educational goal of the GCMTEC Elementary I-II Program is to provide quality teacher preparation for individuals seeking to learn the educational theory and method established by Dr. Maria Montessori. We have taken as our specific task the preparation of teachers for Montessori Elementary classrooms either Elementary I or Elementary II.

Our Goals

Our primary goal is to teach the philosophy and methodology of Dr. Maria Montessori in their classic, traditional forms, while placing them in the context of contemporary education and the culture of our country.

Our Philosophy

The staff of Gulf Coast Montessori Teacher Education Center believe that a better world can be achieved through better education. The response to each child as a unique individual is based upon current education research and application. An important aspect of our philosophy is centered in Dr. Maria Montessori’s theory of human development from birth to adulthood. This philosophy provides structure; within which there is possibility for expansion, innovation, and extension of the methods used by Dr. Montessori.

A Brief Tour of the Environment

Upon entering the building, you are immediately welcomed by the openness of the facility. The lighting and colors put you at ease creating a calming effect. No detail has been spared.

Earth elements are scattered throughout the environment. The stark contrast between the steel and the warm brown colors of the wood is only complemented by the green wall which serves as a focal point.

Catch glimpses of artistic elements imported from around the world to promote a multicultural understanding and tolerance.
Orthodox Manuscript
19th Century Burmese Buddha statue
Modern Spanish artists
Indonesian theater puppets

The Environments

View of the glass classroom upon entering the facility.


Two entire walls of the "Glass Classroom" are made up entirely of glass panels. Here Adult Learners can find the latest printed curricula, along with our signature Nienhuis hardwood materials. Technological conveniences are available throughout the building offering each Adult Learner constant, and immediate connectivity with our intranet infrastructure.
Montessori presentations are grounded in historical context. Structure, patterns, and interrelatedness are the cornerstone of the curriculum.


The setup of our training room exemplifies the structure and beauty of learning mathematical concepts through discovery learning.
A learner friendly program allows for presentation and practice, solidifying concepts and teaching strategies through discussion and revision.
Number sense is developed early in a Montessori curriculum extending through middle school algebraic concepts.
A view of the presentation of moving from a cube to a nonsuccessive cube with algebraic notation.
Adult Learners are prepared to perform higher level presentations within their first year of Upper Elementary training.


Adult learners have access to the most current and up-to-date materials. GCMTEC is part of the ETC family of companies with a rich tradition in quality, accountability and reliability.
Montessori explores the interrelatedness between people and the places they choose to live.

History is studied chronologically, so Adult Learners are able to put events into context, thereby building connections.

Instructors are chosen for their expertise in both subject matter and experience with different school populations. Gulf Coast Teacher Education Center is uniquely positioned to offer teacher training for private, charter and public school programs.
Adult Learners are given an iPad that contains their training manuals. Interactive technology is part of the program implementation. GCMTEC is committed to preparing teachers to work in today's environments.

Having a clear understanding of the challenges that many educators face in today's differentiated learning environments, GCMTEC is able to provide Adult Learners with the foundations they will need in order to meet these challenges.

Experiential learning is infused throughout the program. Teachers who feel comfortable with content will engage their students in that content.

Tuition and Fees

Gulf Coast Montessori operates two centers. The first, is located in Houston TX, serving the needs of the Southwest schools, while offering credentials in Early Childhood and Elementary I-II. The second, is located in Charleston, SC and serves the needs of the East Coast clients while offering Elementary I-II credential.

The costs of the Elementary I-II tuition and manuals on an iPad listed below are guaranteed for the 2018 course. Gulf Coast Montessori Teacher Education Center reserves the right to increase tuition and fees for future courses.

Each cohort will contain no more than 15 Adult learners. Positions are limited and an interview with the director is necessary before acceptance to the program. Adult Learners that are on the waiting list will receive open positions first.

Early Childhood (Available at the Houston Center)

Registration fee $100

Tuition $5837

Credentialing Fees $363

Manuals provided on an iPad (iPad included with cost of manuals) $500

Books $100*

Total Expenses $6900

Elementary I-II (Available at the Houston and Charleston Center)

Registration fee $100

Tuition $7,900

Credentialing Fees $400

Manuals provided on an iPad® (iPad included with cost of manuals) $500

Books $100*

Total Expenses $9,000

All course costs include tuition, registration fee, and four (4) observations by a consultant (only consultant’s car mileage will be reimbursed—air fare needs to be paid by Adult Learner if regional consultant is not available).

Adult Learners will be provided an iPad directly by GCMTEC that will contain all the necessary manuals used for the course.

*Gulf Coast Montessori Teacher Education Center will provide the required and essential books. A separate list of supplemental recommended books is supplied and it is suggested that these books (approximately $100) are either borrowed or purchased by the Adult Learner.


Photographs by ETC Montessori © 2015

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