Principals & Teachers
Mary Beth Slack
I have been a member of the Glen Lake staff for eight years teaching our Young Fives’ Kindergarten class. Before that, I worked at the Leelanau Children’s Center for 13 years. I taught their Young Fives’ Kindergarten program for seven years; was a home visitor for one year; was staff support for one year; and resource coordinator for another before I took the position as Program Director which I held for three years.
My academic background and credentials are as follows:
Professional Education Certificate
Elementary K-5; all subjects
Social Science 6-8
Language Arts 6-8
BA in Russian
BA in Communication Arts
MA in Elementary Education
Currently working on
PhD in Early Childhood Education
0-5 Mental Health Specialist Certificate
Member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children
In the classroom, I use a Constructivist approach to learning in which I take children’s emerging ideas and questions to develop curriculum. I also believe that each person learns in their own way and at their own pace. I observe each child and the group closely to plan the best ways to support their learning. I strive to meet each child where they are and guide them as they build upon the knowledge base that they already have. A great deal of our daily focus is on social and emotional development, community building, and learning conflict resolution and problem solving skills.
I also believe in play and relationship based learning (no matter the grade!) I feel that children in group settings should experience lightly structured days that allow them to feel safe and supported, while exposing them to a wide variety of developmentally appropriate opportunities. I do not teach academics in isolation, but rather I teach academics within a wholistic framework. In other words, I integrate these pieces into our day where they fit naturally. For example, we will visit the different teachers and classrooms in our school and then write in our community journals. We will watch the butterfly’s life cycle and then write about it. We will go on a hike and find sticks that look like letters, or count how many clouds are in the sky. Learning is meaningful and relevant.
Dave & I moved to this ‘Land of Delight’ 20 years ago and have since opened an upholstery business and had four remarkable children all of whom have attended or are attending Glen Lake School. We feel very fortunate to be part of this wonderful learning community.