In Montessori’s own startling words, exacting like a scientist and spiritual like a saint, and an enlightened generalist as well – who covers all curriculum areas with ardor, always researching and learning something new.

And then a Montessori Guide must not only balance self-discipline with exuberance, but also know when to exercise each and how to moderate them, all the while cultivating in the community of children the knowledge and spirit of the arts and sciences, practical life, and gracious civility. The Guide, simultaneous with all that, prepares and cares for a meticulously designed environment, one that is exquisitely beautiful and analytically scientific, but with a light minimalist charm. Of utmost importance is the relationship the Guide establishes with the community of children and each individual child within it.

And that’s just the beginning of what makes for a rich and thrilling, heartwarming and rewarding life for those with the stamina and perseverance to do the work it takes, those who dig in and dig deep enough to develop it.

The vision of the teacher should be at once precise like that of the scientist, and spiritual like that of the saint. The preparation for science and the preparation for sanctity should form a new soul, for the attitude of the teacher should be at once positive, scientific and spiritual.

Positive and scientific, because she has an exact task to perform, and it is necessary that she should put herself into immediate relation with the truth by means of rigorous observation…

Spiritual, because it is to man that his powers of observation are to be applied, and because the characteristics of the creature who is to be his particular subject of observation are spiritual.

Dr. Maria Montessori, ‘The Advanced Montessori Method – I’, Clio Press Ltd, 107