Shadowing students to gain a new perspective on learning

Ephrata Area School District  |  Posted on

How does it feel to be a student for a day? Just ask an Ephrata Area School District administrator.

District leaders shadowed students in elementary and secondary schools to experience a school day as a student firsthand and gain a new perspective on learning.

District administrators participated with empathy and an open mind to feel what it is like to truly adopt a student’s point of view. “As part of the district theme to embody a growth mindset and a desire for continued improvement, administrators are trying to fully immerse themselves in student life for a day with the goal to better understand the students we serve,” said District Superintendent Dr. Brian Troop.

Administrators were asked to keep a variety of questions in mind while shadowing students, including:

  • How does it feel to be a student for a day?
  • What is your student’s favorite moment of the day, and what makes it special?
  • What do you notice makes your student feel uncomfortable, anxious or bored? Why?
  • When is your student engaged in learning?
  • As you go through your day, what opportunities do you notice for use of critical thinking, creativity, problem solving, collaboration and effective communication skills?

In addition, Ephrata High School students were selected to use a district-monitored Twitter account, @GoMountsStudent, to tweet about the details of their day. This allowed more students, parents and the community to start a social media conversation and learn about what it is like to be a student at Ephrata High School.

Following the events, administrators reflected on their insights and compared students’ experiences with the learning and skills necessary for success through their academic careers.

Due to the success, the district plans to repeat the initiative in January 2017.