As a lab school, part of the mission of the Fanny Edel Falk Laboratory School is to work with pre-service teachers. Each year, our faculty members serve as mentors for intern teachers and student teachers from the University of Pittsburgh and various universities within the tri-state area.
Falk teachers in grades 6-8 work with interns enrolled in the Master of Arts in Teaching program at the University of Pittsburgh. They are interviewed and selected by Falk School faculty and are scheduled to have a full year practicum at Falk. These interns have decided to pursue graduate study in education while gaining practical experience working with children.
Each intern works with a Falk mentor in his/her content area for the entire school year.
Teachers in grades K-4 work with student teachers in the University of Pittsburgh’s CASE and Primary Plus programs. Students in the CASE (Combined Accelerated Studies in Education) graduate year program are working on an M.Ed. in Instruction and Learning and will be certified in both early childhood and special education upon successful completion of the program. Students in the Primary Plus program spend a fifth year earning their PreK-4 teacher certification.
Student teachers from other universities (e.g. Penn State, Duquesne) and in other disciplines (e.g. art education) may also work with Falk teachers.
Each student teacher is assigned to one master teacher for a 12-14 week period.
Undergraduate students may take courses that require them to visit a variety of classrooms and grade levels to observe teaching and the school environment. These university students are in the classroom to experience lessons and activities and to discuss their observations with a master teacher.
The Falk School faculty believes that in addition to fulfilling our mission, having pre-service teachers in our classrooms provides a significant benefit to the education of Falk School children. Having more educational resources in the building contributes to our instructional flexibility and increases the amount of direct instructional time that is received by each student. The children and their parents look forward to the new adult faces and personalities that arrive in our classrooms each year.