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Paul Soriano, principal at West Elementary in Spearfish; Sue McGrath, project coordinator, Michele Hovland, assistant professor in the College of Education, Dana Dykhouse, president and CEO of First PREMIER Bank-PREMIER Bankcard, and Cindy Chandler, assistant professor in the College of Education, were on hand for a $30,000 donation from First PREMIER Bank-PREMIER Bankcard to the Teacher Learning Center. 

First PREMIER Bank-PREMIER Bankcard recently donated $30,000 to Black Hills State University to support the Teacher Learning Center (TLC) located at West Elementary.

The Teacher Learning Center, offers an environment where pre-service teachers can comfortably view two live classrooms through one-way mirrors. The setting provides opportunities for pre-service elementary teachers to engage in real-time classroom observation and simultaneous discussion. The project strengthens BHSU’s teacher preparation program by providing opportunities for pre-service teachers to experience several important elements of clinical practice, according to Nancy Hall, dean of the college of education at BHSU.  

During visits to the TLC, prospective teachers have opportunities to observe “how to teach”; however, most important are the discussions surrounding the instruction. Observing teaching from “behind the glass” allows the undergraduate students to observe the immediate effects of the teacher’s instructional decisions, evaluate what might be happening, learn to notice and articulate evidence to support their judgments, and relate what they are observing and learning to their own teaching.