SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

February 15, 2013

Column: Horace Mann school benefits from SSU partnership

“If ever there was a cause, if ever there can be a cause, worthy to be upheld by all of toil or sacrifice that the human heart can endure, it is the cause of Education. It has intrinsic and indestructible merits. It holds the welfare of mankind in its embrace.”

— Horace Mann

Horace Mann Laboratory School opened in 1896 on the first floor of the Sullivan Building, the flagship building of the Salem State University (then called the Salem Normal School). We moved to our current building in 1912 and became the Horace Mann Laboratory School in 1935. Since our founding, we have benefited from a close relationship with Salem State University, which sends eager education students to our school to support our mission and learn the art of teaching from our teacher-mentors.

Our connection to Salem State University provides our students and faculty, as well as those of the university, many benefits. This year, Horace Mann’s assistant principal also serves as a liaison to the university’s education department, forming another link to improve communication and collaboration between the two schools.

Our teacher-mentors are experienced educators who work closely with university students to model best practices in curriculum and instruction and provide professional guidance, advice and support. We welcome university students at all levels of their educational careers. Freshmen and sophomores begin their time in our school observing, keeping journals for reference, and discussing and processing their observations with our mentors and their university professors in classes and seminars. Junior pre-practicum students spend three or four mornings per week in our classrooms and are expected to teach several lessons, planned in close consultation with our teachers and approved by their university professors. Senior practicum students are with us full time for an entire semester and are gradually given teaching responsibilities until they are teaching full days, again in consultation and with the approval of our mentor teachers. Practicum students become part of our school community and are involved in staff meetings, professional development, field trips and extracurricular activities.

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