After reading this post by Steve Mouldey, I couldn’t help but reblog it because I was just so happy to hear a school leaders’ perspective on an average school day! The funny thing is that just two weeks ago we were at IDEO talking to the creators of the Teacher’s Guild where the challenge of “#ShadowaStudent was from. When I heard about it there I was thrilled to know that so many educators were taking the time to empathize with their students. Student’s are the primary users of a school, so it makes sense that students are an intricate part to how we design school, especially in this time period of education transformation that we are embarking on. (#StudentVoice!!!!)
Like Mr. Mouldey I too would encourage more school leaders to get out and shadow one of their students. I wonder though how behaviors change when a school leader is in the classroom. Like Grant Lichtman talked about in his first book “The Falconer” by observing a system you are inherently changing the nature of the system. Were teachers changing the way they interact with the student because an administrator was in the room? Were students really comfortable sharing their true opinions about school?
Despite these wonders about how much the system potentially changed due to the presence of a school leader, I would still be thrilled to be shadowed by one of my school leaders. As a student that deeply cares about school voice, I think you can’t gain much better empathy for a students than spending a day (or imagine a whole week where you actually have homework due and quizzes to study for!) in their shoes- literally.
Many of you will know that I am at a new school this year and have made the step up to a Senior Leadership position. This meant that I jumped at the chance to take on the #ShadowaStudent challenge that was created by School Retool, IDEO and the Stanford d.School. What a great way to gain empathy for the student experience at Lynfield College – to really find out what it is like to be a student here.
I asked a student if I could shadow him for the day and explained why I was doing this. Let the teachers know why I would be in their classroom wearing a school uniform and got prepared for a day outside of my office!
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