Skyline's Leadership students, Adriana Villegas, junior, and Cynthia Barquero Ruiz, senior, have been working to develop and produce the Shadow Day project on campus. The project is designed to pair students with teachers and have them take turns shadowing each other for an entire day with the goal of creating a better understanding of what it is like to be a teacher and/or student at Skyline today. Below is a written reflection of the day that Justin Anderson, the Leadership teacher and Student Activities Director, spent shadowing a 9th grade student, Tyler Richardson. Tyler shadowed Mr. Anderson the previous day.
First off, I am exhausted. I really have a new appreciation for the kiddos going to 7 different classes with 7 different teachers, many who have different expectations and rules.
Second, I really enjoyed myself today. I so appreciate all the hard work each and every teacher puts into their work. Saying that it is obvious you all care would be a huge understatement. I admire each and everyone of you
A few tough parts of the day were:
Hanging around before school from 7:30-8 am in the main office building with Tyler and his buddies. I really tried to be a fly on the wall/student today and not an adult on campus. It was a challenge hearing and listening to the way the kids talked to each other. I found my instincts triggered to remind kids to use more appropriate language and to build each other up and not tear each other down. With that said, I kept quiet and observed. Lets just say it was a very long 30 minutes.
Today in PE, the kids had their final exam: A two mile run/walk around the basketball court in the gym. Tyler and I got there early and got dressed. I did my 2 miles (which was tough in itself) and then had all of 7 minutes to get dressed and get to Mr. Noah's AVID class so I would not be late (which was also difficult in itself). The real challenge though was going from PE to an academic class. Usually when I work out I go and eat or decompress after. Not today! I had to sit down in Mr. Noah's class and begin to prepare a written speech for the final presentation that is coming up next week. It was very tough to be expected to come into class, sit down and begin to prepare a speech right after the rigorous workout in PE. I was sweaty and hot, and Mr. Noah had the room toasty-warm, which most of the kids enjoyed because they didnt come from PE. I made it through, but it was a challenge.
Finally I want to say that I was not a proponent of Skyline moving to block schedules next year. I am still not 100% for it, but today did make me realize how difficult it is to go to 7 different classes with workloads in each and different teaching styles among the teachers. The passing period is totally long enough if you do not mess around, but transitioning that many times to different contents all in one day was very difficult. I am not a super organized person, but I am more organized than most students. You have to be organized to be successful at Skyline with this many classes and projects and assignments. I think back to when I was in high school and I would have had a very difficult time at Skyline because of this.
Now a few parts of the day that I really enjoyed:
I enjoyed being a kid today! I really enjoyed being viewed as a student today by the staff and other students. So many kids came up to me and asked what Tyler and I were doing. The response from kids when we explained about the shadow day was almost always "wow..thats really cool". I felt as though students appreciated what we were doing in supporting improvements in relationships between adults and students on campus. It felt really good!
I was so impressed with all of Tyler's teachers. You all are tremendous. It is evident that you all care and go the extra mile.
I want to write more, but I have to go to basketball practice. A long day gets even longer.
Written by Justin Anderson, Leadership teacher and Student Activities Director