Administrators follow students’ schedules

Periodically, administrators drift into classrooms, sit in the back corner, and take some notes on how the class is run. This method of observation, although conventional, deprives the observer from getting a first-hand student experience. To try something new, District 127 administrators participated in the Shadow a Student program during the week of April 16.
Each participating administrator followed one student throughout the school day. This means that they were in P.E, lunch, and even on the bus.
“I will be participating wherever I can. I’ll be in P.E. with them. I’ll be doing everything they’re doing,” Principal James Roscoe said.
Different administrators chose different students to shadow. Some chose randomly while others chose a student that is in a specific grade. This allowed for a wide variety of experiences for the administrator.
“For me, it’s about student dialogue… Having open ears and trying to gain and just observe is my goal,” said Associate Principal Jeff Schagrin.
As for the students who were shadowed, they had the privilege of connecting with an administrator and sharing their daily experience with him or her. Junior Sonia Rodriguez was one of the chosen students, and she spent the day with superintendent Dr. Mikkel Storaasli.
“I think this [program] is a good thing because [the administrators] can see what it’s like to be a student,” Rodriguez said.
Shadow a Student is a global initiative with the goal of school staff understanding what students experience on a daily basis. Over a thousand educators from around the world have already participated to try and better recognize what students need from their schools.
“We are trying to immerse ourselves in the student’s environment. When I’m evaluating or observing a class, you’re observing the big picture of what’s going on. I almost feel like I’m the outside looking in. My hope is that now, with this, I’m on the inside,” Dr. Roscoe said.