Week 15 Reflection: “Teachers Walk in Students Shoes For a Day”

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Watching five teachers experience being a student in the school that they teach in was actually incredibly impactful to me. I was expecting to be entertained perhaps, by teachers who might struggle with some of the routines and expectations their students have grown to be quite competent at managing, but I was not expecting to be so moved and challenged by their experience. I was struck first and foremost by the teachers’ willingness to be learners—to try on perspectives different than their own, to learn from their students and from the student experience, but also to take advantage of this opportunity to learn from their colleagues. One of the comments that stood out to me most from a teacher reflecting upon his day as a student was this feeling of being constantly wound—rushing from class to class and showing up and being expected to actively engage and dive into the content for the day. I think this is an accurate and important discovery for a teacher to make because as a student you’re never off…you’re always being asked to be fully present, to engage and be an active learner and when you can’t, teachers often assume that you the student do not care or are not committed, when in fact you may be physically be struggling to remain fully engaged all day long. The students perspective and experience must be forefront in the teacher’s mind if they are going to make best use of the time they have in class with students and develop lessons that are the most meaningful to students. Additionally I think observing and learning from colleagues is something that we as educators need to work on making an intentional and regular practice.