Administrators spend a day in students’ shoes


Provided by @JohnstonCSD Twitter account

On Jan. 19 superintendent Dr. Corey Lunn held a panel discussion with the student representative of the high school building. This is one of the ways administration has been listening to feedback from the students as well as the shadowing that has taken place.

Esmeralda Flores, Staff Writer

Superintendent Dr. Corey Lunn and other administrators within the district shadowed students on a regular school day Jan. 14.

This whole analysis was influenced by a blog posted by Grant Wiggins, the president of Authentic Education in Hopewell, New Jersey. Pulling from an anonymous source he posts an article that was written by a different teacher and how she had shadowed two students in the high school building she teaches at. Everything from how exhausted she was the first day of shadowing, to describing different things she would change about how the high school runs.

“Well about three months ago on Twitter there was a story about an experienced high school teacher who became the instructional coach, so he coaches the other teachers,” Lunn said. “He had decided to shadow a student one day and he shared what he learned and reflections in this article.”

The board hoped to see what a school day is like through students’ eyes. “Its part of a bigger effort of looking at what we may want to do differently and making sure that we are getting feedback from the students,” Lunn said.

Since first hearing about shadowing at a school board work session, senior Taylor Hall, student representative on the school board, asked to lead this project. She hopes it will be something that the school board members can look back at when making future decisions.

“I think this really shows them what a student goes through and even if it is just for one day, they can get a lot from that one day,” Hall said.

Some of the things that Lunn had learned from shadowing Hall was that things have changed since the last time he was in high school and that shadowing could be a good thing for new future high school.

“I think that sometimes it is difficult for us to remember what it was like for when we were students, the world has changed so much and we need to know what kind of different experiences do the students need and we have a tremendous opportunity with the new high school to do so, ” Lunn said.

For Brent Riessen he had shadowed senior Matthew Shaver and what he had gotten out of this experience was he would like to get out into the classrooms more often.

“I would anticipate doing more of this I think it is great to get out of my office and see what’s going on in the classrooms again it is interesting to watch one student go through their day. I also get a feel of what all the kids do,” Riessen said.

School board president Greg Dockum also agreed that shadowing can help administration when making decisions that may affect the students.

“As a board we are always asked to make decisions that will affect the students and I think that is a difficult thing,” Dockum said. “I was in high school once, but its been a long time and so it is very hard to make those decisions sometimes without either input or some kind of knowledge of the effects.”

Different school board officials shadowed students with a variety of schedules in order to receive the full perspective of an average day at the high school. “The school board is very much interested in the students input, feedback and I hope that this will be perceived positively by the students,” Dockum said.