Southeastern Students support Brockton Elementary School
Superintendent Luis Lopes and Principal Leslie Weckesser are pleased to share the continued success of a collaborative externship program with the Manthala George, Jr., Global Studies School in Brockton.
Through the externship, junior and senior students in Southeastern’s Early Education and Care Program work in the George School for one semester. During their placement, the students apply what they learn as freshmen and sophomores about child development and behavioral strategies to their in-person work in their assigned classroom.
“An important part of the vocational education students receive at Southeastern is blending what they have learned in the classroom with hands-on application,” Principal Weckesser said. “Working with and learning from the staff at the George School is a valuable experience for our Early Education and Care students that will help prepare them for their future careers.”
The Early Education and Care externship program has been in place at Southeastern for over 10 years, and students have generally worked in the Brockton Public Schools as classroom assistants. The program has evolved over time, and in recent years students have been placed in Dual Language and Sheltered English Immersion program classrooms in grades K-3 at the George School.
While working in the classrooms, Southeastern students assist the teachers however it is needed, as well as help students in small groups or individually with their academic lessons, classroom activities and routines. Not only do the high school students help George School students academically, but their interactions also support the development of younger students’ social-emotional skills.
“Our partnership with Southeastern has been so valuable, especially this school year, and we’re appreciative of the enthusiasm and attentiveness the students show in their roles in our classrooms,” George School Principal Natalie Pohl said. “Our high school interns provide instructional and social-emotional support for some of our youngest learners, and our students look forward to seeing them every day!”
Southeastern’s bilingual students also help to support many of the George School’s multilingual students who attend its Dual Language programs. These programs teach English along with the target languages of Spanish, Portuguese or French. Recently, two Southeastern students were recognized by their host teacher for helping a new student who only spoke French adjust to the classroom’s routines and complete assignments, by both using their French-speaking skills and an online translation tool.
Southeastern students are also evaluated by their host teachers each semester, with George School teachers having described students in the past as helpful, easy to work with, and good at taking initiative and knowing what needs to be done to help both the teachers and their elementary students.
“The program has been helpful for me as it provides an extra set of eager hands to help students stay engaged and on task with their learning,” said Alayna Crugnale, a Kindergarten teacher in the George School’s “Unidos” Portuguese and English program. “The students love when our helper comes in because they know they will get to work with her all week long and show her everything they have been learning.”
“This is an excellent opportunity for our students to apply what they have learned in the classroom, and we are grateful to Principal Pohl and the George School for their collaboration on the program,” Southeastern Early Education and Care instructor Judith Fagundes said. “It’s always wonderful to see the impact the Southeastern and George School students are able to have on each other throughout the semester, and to hear how our students have been able to assist the teachers they’re placed with.”
Leah Comins, John Guilfoil Public Relations