- "Students sit all day, and sitting is exhausting."
- "High School students are sitting passively and listening during approximately 90% of their classes."
- "You feel a little bit like a nuisance all day long."
The teacher developed a newfound empathy for students. She always had empathy for them, and the fact that she loves working with kids is evident in her account. But her experience reminded her what it's like to be a student. This lead her to decide on things to change in her class. She created a list of mandatory activities for her students in which they get up and move around, such as stretching half-way through class. The teacher also articulated some alterations to her time management, including quick mini-lessons and using an egg timer to limit the amount of time she speaks in front of the class.
We should be grateful that Wiggins decided to share this teacher's experience. He did this to help other educators open their eyes and change the way they run their classes, to ameliorate the livelihoods of their students. It makes me ask, "if I shadowed a student, what would I see?" But more importantly, Wiggins reminds me to make my students actively participate in my class rather than just be bodies filling the seats. I think the teacher's approach is a novel idea that could be used in school districts to help teachers improve the way they teach. I think it would be a good idea for educators to be required once every few years to shadow a student in their district in order to experience firsthand what it's like for kids. I also think that teachers would benefit from such an activity by reflecting on their own practices to devise methods for improving their craft.
Wiggins, G. (2014, October 10). A veteran teacher turned coach shadows 2 students for 2 days – a sobering lesson learned [Web log post]. Retrieved from: https://grantwiggins.wordpress.com/2014/10/10/a-veteran-teacher-turned-coach-shadows-2-students-for-2-days-a-sobering-lesson-learned/