Student Life

Student life at the Houston Montessori Institute is vibrant, and the students are as passionate about the education they are receiving as the faculty are in their presentation.

While preparing for a career as a Montessori teacher, students may also experience the best of the culture that the city of Houston has to offer. There are world-class museums, international cuisine, beautiful architecture, outdoor spaces, and more to be enjoyed at every turn.

Students, both locally and internationally based, are encouraged to work together and function as a community for one another throughout the program.


"My favorite thing about the HMI Primary training is that both trainers teach by being a good example. They treat us the same way we are expected to treat our children, with respect, patience, firmness, and kindness. It has also been wonderful to meet new people and get to know them at a personal level as we go through this journey of transformation together."

—Orly Kluk, Class of 2015


My experience so far has been wonderful. I didn't ever expect when coming to this that I would be going on a spiritual journey as well as being taught the Montessori Method. But, what I am slowly learning is that in order to understand the method, the spiritual journey goes hand in hand with it.

Mirani and Larry are some of the most gracious and wise individuals I have ever met. Since my first day, they have been welcoming and warm and have created an atmosphere of peace. I feel honored to be taught underneath them and look forward to school every morning.

—Hana Auxier (Class of 2015)


The trainers at HMI are very helpful, positive, encouraging, and full of insight. The location is perfect if you need childcare for your children during the summer sessions. My 12-year-old loved the various museums within the Museum District. Being from Florida, the Houston location reminds me of home because of the gorgeous oak trees that line the streets.

—Amy Stam (Class of 2015)


HMI is a special place for me. When I decided to become a teacher, it was because of the experiences I had while I was a student, and the pull I felt whenever I had the opportunity to teach others, child or adult. I knew I wanted to start with public school, so that I could truly understand the unique challenged our public education faced. For seven years, I taught English to middle school children. It was tough, but I loved it and knew teaching was the right choice for me. However, as a Montessori child myself, I always hoped to move into Montessori teaching. When I found out that I could not only earn a master’s degree while training, but work with one of my former Montessori teachers, it was a chance I couldn’t pass up.

The Montessori system has a rich legacy and brilliant scientifically based methods. I’m proud to become a part of this legacy, both as a teacher and as a former student. I know how powerful the Montessori method is, and I chose HMI because I know it will help future generations become confident, successful, peaceful, and happy. Montessori is part of my past; now HMI is helping me turn it into my future.

—Kate Barrack (Class of 2015)

I chose HMI for many reasons. It’s in the same city as my home, Houston, a city with so much to experience. It’s in association with The Post Oak School, which is known for its standard of excellence at every level, and I knew that this would carry over to HMI, and I can testify that it has. During the interview process I got to meet with the trainers. Just in that meeting I saw and felt the embodiment of “Montessori” and knew that as a result of me taking this training that I would be receiving the full experience of a Montessori training… not just in the presentations but also in the way I would be treated and considered. After one year of training I can say that the trainers model “Grace and Courtesy” with each of the trainees. Though the course workload is heavy, the pace is not overwhelming and there is much time given for practice, with the trainers always available to answer questions and help in any way.

I am so happy with my choice to receive my training from HMI. As a result of this training center's dedication to excellence, I am not only being prepared to lead a classroom, but I am being led to fully appreciate and adopt Montessori principles into my own life. Also, Loyola's master’s program was very appealing because I am receiving credit for my coursework at HMI and have an opportunity to extend the Montessori philosophy into research for a master’s degree.

—Rebecca Duran (Class of 2015)


I was brought to this training by the book “Montessori: The Science behind the Genius,” which explains many features and principles of Montessori education with a lot of support from research. I had been interested in education and the Montessori seemed very scientific and attractive to me. I was very excited to find that a new AMI training center was established in 2013, as I’ve been looking for one for two years. Now that we’re into the second summer, I’m so glad I made the right decision: the more I learn about the method and philosophy, the more in awe I stand toward this education.

—Huidan Xu (Class of 2015)

For me it has been a dream come true! I wanted to add the 3-6 training to enhance my work with the adolescent community. I have worked in the elementary and with middle school students. It is wonderful to have a training institute in Houston, right in our own school. We are fortunate to have two trainers who share their vast experience in the classroom. It has been an amazing learning experience.

—Sunila Madiman (Class of 2015)


My journey to HMI began many years before I began the training. I worked for a family whose youngest child was in Mirani Smith's class at The Post Oak School. After leaving for college I knew I wanted to be right back at Post Oak and take the Montessori training. I worked at the school for one and a half years before training began. It helped me to have been in the classroom seeing children work with the materials. 

I am not only pursuing my Montessori certification but also a masters. It was important to me to see that through my training I can also obtain a Masters degree with Loyola University. It has always been a dream of mine to be a Montessori teacher and have a master's degree. This training center provides me with both.

After the first summer was over I had a totally different view of the world. I came into my classroom as an intern and was able to use the philosophy we had been taught. I observed the children in a different way. Through listening to Larry and Mirani all summer I gained a new outlook on communicating with the children in my class. I was much more peaceful and open to the children. Taking the training over three summers provides me with the opportunity to use the knowledge I gained the next year. 

I have bonded with the other trainees and we have formed a small community who care for each other. Mirani and Larry model for us grace and courtesy which helped us work together as a community. If one of us does not understand something we work together to help that person understand in a loving and caring way.

—Elizabeth Dickson (Class of 2015)

Having a teacher training course in Houston has been invaluable. For several years I had been researching training courses in other parts of the country and realized I really needed something in my hometown. I have children and so going back to school was only realistic if the course was nearby.  

The training center is in a building with wall to wall windows which lets in lots of natural light. The setting is serene and conducive to learning. I look forward to entering the building each day.  

The trainers are incredibly knowledgeable about the Montessori method. They share the information clearly, cleanly and expertly. They always make time for questions, clarification, and processing the method.  They model the Montessori method. Having concrete examples to exemplify the reading we’re doing and the lessons we’re learning deepens our understanding of the method. 

The training is intense. A lot of information is covered in a short period of time but it feels manageable because of the availability of the trainers and the accessibility of the course location.

—Renae Holman Murti (Class of 2015)