4/14/16: The Phebe Anna Thorne School is currently accepting applications for Classroom Aid positions. Undergrads interested in working with young children should contact Thorne director Amanda Ulrich at firstname.lastname@example.org. Applicants should have some related experience and will need PA clearances. See the story below to learn more about the Thorne School.
The Phebe Anna Thorne School is a valuable resource for families who are interested in a play-based learning environment for their young children.
Established in 1952, the Thorne School also provides excellent learning opportunities for Bryn Mawr students interested in education, psychology, and social work. There are also opportunities for students to get jobs as classroom aides in the school.
As a lab school, the Thorne School serves as a site of undergraduate research in areas such as language acquisition and cognition. It also serves as a fieldwork site of Praxis courses and provides valuable real-world experience for students looking into a career in education.
Among the students who have done fieldwork at the Thorne School is Anu Goedhart ’15, who conducted research for her senior thesis at both the preschool and the kindergarten. She also volunteered and worked at the school during her senior year.
Goedhart says that her favorite moments at the Thorne School involved “being able to engage with the kids and being proud of them for what they worked on. There’s so much individuality at such a young age.”
Rachel Stern ’92 is a Bryn Mawr alumna who currently works as a kindergarten teacher at the Thorne School. While she was at Bryn Mawr, she studied psychology and then went on to earn a master’s of education from Temple University.
When Stern was an undergraduate at Bryn Mawr, she did observational work in the Thorne School for a psychology class.
“Seeing children actually learning in a classroom and then going back to discuss it in your own psychology class or an education class is something that’s critical for understanding child development,” says Stern.
And being in the classroom has benefits beyond academics, adds Stern.
“Coming in to work with the children in the preschool and kindergarten can be such an invigorating part of a college student’s day because it’s unlike anything else you do,” she says.
The Thorne School got its start as a laboratory nursery school for the college. The preschool program remains at Bryn Mawr College, and the kindergarten is now located at Haverford.
For more information about the Phebe Anna Thorne School, visit their website.