Fieldwork: U of M Students

The LAB Preschool models developmentally appropriate practices in early childhood education pedagogy. Ample opportunity to observe these practices unobtrusively paves the way for teaching success. Plenty of hands-on, yet guided, experiences in assessment, curricula planning and lesson implementation enable students to put to practice content from coursework. Daily self-reflection and feedback from early childhood clinical specialists is key to improving teaching methods. Becoming part of a collaborative teaching team during field-experience aids in learning and boosts confidence. A LAB Preschool field-experience ties together all these components and prepares teacher candidates for meaningful careers working with young children and their families. 

Preschool operations and teacher schedules have been carefully orchestrated to support the development of a strong teaching team with the student interns. A thorough orientation is completed prior to involvement in the LAB and students can attend a weekly instructional seminar to enhance their developing knowledge and teaching skills. In addition, teachers meet with the UM students on a daily basis before and after each preschool session to provide ongoing instruction and support. UM students are always supervised in their work with the children

Student Experience

kallister.png“PLAY IS LEARNING! LEARNING IS PLAY! I will shout it out until I am old and no longer have a voice to shout. This may be the biggest gap between ECE and primary grades. But why? Research proves that children learn best through actual hands on experiences.” 
- Kallister Meagher


“Let me just start by saying that I wish that every teacher, childcare provider, parent, and adult for that matter, could take a class like this one. It has taught me so much, and provided me with the knowledge and tools for a positive future.”
- Stevi Siloti

“I quickly learned that being an early childhood educator means I will have the chance to make enormous impacts on children’s lives and feelings about school and learning.”
-Samantha Worster

Building a strong foundation for success.

Enhanced academic preparation specific to the early childhood years is proven to be effective in helping teachers support the optimal development of young children, leading to tangible benefits for children across the lifespan including fewer referrals to special education and  higher rates of high school completion.

UM’s early childhood education programs support work-force preparation to meet the growing demand for highly qualified early childhood teachers for our state and nation in public schools, Head Start and Early Head Start, and community-based early childhood programs.

The Preschool - Grade 3 (P-3) Early Childhood Education Endorsement can be added to a K-8 teaching license to enhance teacher preparation for working with our youngest learners and to meet Montana’s new requirement of the P-3 Early Childhood endorsement for all public school preschool teachers.

To find out more go to Early Childhood Education Endorsement Certificate