Monday, August 15, 2016

SHADOW DAY - What an Educator Learned

"What one assistant principal learned from shadowing a student for a day" PBS NewsHour 8/9/2016


SUMMARY:  Karen Ritter, an assistant principal at a high school just outside of Chicago, wanted to see her school through a student's eyes.  So she decided to follow 9th grader Alan Garcia, who came to her asking to be switched out of the many remedial classes in which he is enrolled, hoping to get a clear view of his experience in the classroom.  Special correspondent John Tulenko of Education Week reports.

GWEN IFILL (NewsHour):  High school students and parents sometimes say principals and teachers don't quite understand what it's like to be a student these days.  It turns out there's an effort to change that.  Some 1,300 principals recently took a day off from their usual role and instead followed one of their students for a day.

The approach came from two groups outside the traditional field of public education, the Design School at Stanford University, and IDEO, a design company based in Palo Alto, California.

Special correspondent John Tulenko of Education Week followed one principal through the first ever national Shadow a Student Day Challenge.  It's part of our weekly education series on Making the Grade.

KAREN RITTER, Assistant Principal, East Leyden High School:  My name is Karen Ritter.  I'm an assistant principal at East Leyden High School, which is just outside of Chicago.

And, today, I will be shadowing a student.

JOHN TULENKO, Education Week:  Why are you doing this?

KAREN RITTER:  Just to get a sense of what students go through during the day.

I don't really get to spend a lot of time with students.  Usually, I'm in charge of things that the teachers are involved in.  So, this includes teacher evaluations, teacher attendance, professional development.  I would say 50 percent is in meetings.

JOHN TULENKO:  Do you feel like you know what goes on here?

KAREN RITTER:  I — I do, just because I do observe a lot of classrooms.  Now, I'm looking at it more from the teacher's perspective.

But now I want to know what it feels like through the lens of a student.

JOHN TULENKO:  Her public high school serves some 1,700 students and is both racially and economically diverse.

Today, Karen is following a ninth-grader.

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