The Training School

Would be teachers needed a place they could practice, and the Training School provided. Due to competition with the Cheney Public School, this sometimes meant dealing with the community's most troubled students.

On March 22, 1890, the legislature of the newly minted Washington State granted Cheney the state’s first Normal School. Normal School was the designation used for a school or college whose purpose was the training of teachers. Cheney’s Normal School would go through many name changes and evolutions, eventually becoming Eastern Washington University, but from that time on education would be the central focus of Cheney.

The Normal School officially opened on October 13, 1890, and the Training School of the Normal School followed in January of 1892. The Training School was an important part of a teacher’s education because it gave them actual teaching experience. Initially the school contained pupils from grades one to four, but more grades would be added later.

Cheney, of course, had previously established a public school for educating children, so naturally there was competition between the public school and the Training School as to which school students would attend. Mrs. Rose Rice Turner, who was principal of the Training School for a time, stated in a letter to James Orin Oliphant, “As I remember it, we were not legally entitled to any of the children of the district for our Training School, but were dependent upon the good will of the directors.” Because of this, the principal of the Cheney public school, W.B. Ball would simply pass off troubled students when the public school was overcrowded. However, many parents wished to support the Normal School and its mission to train teachers and so requested that their children attend the Training School. In this way, the Training School had many “exemplary and delightful students” in addition to those sent over by Mr. Ball.

The Training School played a significant role in educating teachers. After all, the initial requirement for senior Normal School students was twenty weeks of teaching practice. The Training School provided a place for young teachers to put everything they were learning at the Normal School to practice.

Images

Training School

Training School

Taken sometime before April, 1912, this photo depicts the Training School building (on the left) and the Normal School Administration building (on the right). | Source: Image courtesy of Eastern Washington University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections | Creator: Photographer unknown View File Details Page

Eighth Grade Class

Eighth Grade Class

This photo depicts an eighth grade Training School class from 1907. They appear to be students of the “exemplary and delightful” variety rather than troublemakers. | Source: Image courtesy of Eastern Washington University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections | Creator: Photographer unknown View File Details Page

The Pomeroy Building

The Pomeroy Building

Depicted here is the Pomeroy building in 1920. When the Training School was first established in January, 1892, the Normal School was temporarily housed here. | Source: Image courtesy of Eastern Washington University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections | Creator: Photographer unknown View File Details Page

Cheney Junior High School

Cheney Junior High School

The Training School and Normal School resided in this building from 1893 to the fall of 1896. The Training School operated on the first floor and Normal School operations were conducted on the second floor. | Source: Image courtesy of Eastern Washington University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections | Creator: Photographer unknown View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Jonathan Succo, “The Training School,” Spokane Historical, accessed July 22, 2017, http://spokanehistorical.org/items/show/714.
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