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Shadowing a Student

May 13, 2017

Screen Shot 2017-05-13 at 9.37.21 AM

Near the end of April, I had the opportunity to “shadow” a 5th grade student at Heritage School.  This meant meeting him at the start of the day as he entered the school and staying with him throughout the day.  Classroom, hallways, specials, lunch, recess… the entire day.  If there was an assignment, I had to do it.

The idea came from a national program called the “Shadow a Student Challenge” and several Saline Area Schools administrators & teachers participated.  We recently debriefed about our experiences to learn more about what our students see and feel throughout the day.

Here are a few of my takeaways:

  • We have a positive culture. I witnessed kindness between students, and between students & staff.
  • For 4th & 5th grade students – movement is key.  They have a lot of energy and staying focused is enhanced with frequent movement.
  • Our teachers are excellent.  I witnessed lessons that were engaging, rigorous, well planned.
  • Time for students to work in groups is important – but it has to be focused and structured.
  • Groundies tag is fun and everyone cheats at it.
  • Fidget spinners are cool and annoy teachers.

Overall, it was a great experience and one that I intend to do each year.  I encourage other educators to take the challenge and learn what it feels like to be a student for the entire day.

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