What is the Thomas Reynolds Center anyway? The Thomas Reynolds Center for Special Education & After-School Programs is so much more than any of our students or staff can begin to understand. Often simply referred to as the TRC, the Center offers a unique opportunity for students in their masters year of education that no other college in the entire state offers.
The Center provides an opportunity for graduate students to have their very own classroom and gain the experience teaching students with special needs. In their master’s year of school, education students don’t often get chances to set up or teach in their very own classroom. In this afterschool program, they are able to manipulate not only their classroom, but their lessons, their instruction and their teaching style. The graduate assistants implement and teach Common Core standards based lessons to their own small group of students from Amherst Central School District. More information about the after-school program will come later.
When speaking with Molly Howe, she says that the program and staff “really give you the things that you need, so when you go out to that interview, you know ‘yes, I am the best candidate here . . . I have all the experience,’”
If this Center is such an amazing opportunity, why does nobody seem to know about what this building even is? Even the staff at Daemen do not know what the Thomas Reynolds Center is.
Lisa Waterrose, the Director at The Thomas Reynolds Center for Special Education & After-School Programs, seemed just as surprised about this as I was. She says that the door of the Thomas Reynolds Center is always open. Students are more than welcome to come, look around and ask questions. They always have classrooms setup and student work displayed on the walls. She hopes that more students, especially education students, will consider Daemen for graduate school and want to be a graduate assistant. More and more students just this semester alone have seen what the Center offers now that some of the Education Department Professors are beginning to require observations be done at the Center.
Samantha Schaefer admits “I was guilty of that myself. I don’t think you walk over here that much. I think people don’t really talk about it [the Center] until our senior year . . . we have been trying to change that . . .[we] have open houses with food. I think we have really worked a lot harder for [students to come see the Center].”
The Center has helped Samantha Schaefer feel even more comfortable at Daemen. Samantha says that since being in this program, with all the welcoming, helpful, and warm staff and other assistance, she can only describe her time being in the Daemen education department as a “family, support system”. All three interviewed, said that the Center is a very comfortable, welcoming place, and as Lisa Waterrose said, they want to “promote it as a place where teaching and learning is fun”.