Walking in their shoes makes all the difference!

Photo Credit: Môsieur J. [version 9.1] via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Môsieur J. [version 9.1] via Compfight cc
I’ve really enjoyed following the great interest in Grant Wiggins’ recent guest post by a teacher who shadowed a student for a couple of days and was shocked by what she learned.

Wiggins has long been an advocate of hearing / seeing from students’ perspectives. During a UbD training with him a few years ago he brought in local students for participants to interview. That small sample of honest insight from a student was powerful for the group.

As of October 19, this post had been read over 650,000 times!

From Granted, and … ~ thoughts on education by Grant Wiggins:

“The following account comes from a veteran HS teacher who just became a Coach in her building. Because her experience is so vivid and sobering I have kept her identity anonymous. But nothing she describes is any different than my own experience in sitting in HS classes for long periods of time. And this report of course accords fully with the results of our student surveys.

I have made a terrible mistake.

I waited fourteen years to do something that I should have done my first year of teaching: shadow a student for a day. It was so eye-opening that I wish I could go back to every class of students I ever had right now and change a minimum of ten things – the layout, the lesson plan, the checks for understanding. Most of it!  

Continue reading the post here.


Grant just posted “A PS to the guest post on shadowing HS students (and the author revealed.” You can read it here.

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What do you think?

Have you ever shadowed a student?

Should we add shadowing as part of our regular professional learning cycle for educators?

3 Replies to “Walking in their shoes makes all the difference!”

  1. I have never shadowed a student, but what a great idea. I often try to use my own memories of being a student as guideposts for my teaching, but it has been 27 since I was in 3rd grade. I think a refresher experience would be helpful.

  2. This is very interesting. I should try to shadow a student and see what they go through each day. I always try see things from their eyes, and put myself in their shoes, after all, I was once a student too.

  3. It was an interesting read, for sure! It applies not only as a teacher, but also in thinking about the structure of the school day in general. We’re doing some interesting work with timetables at YIS and one of the mini projects was having kids record their day with a GoPro. I think the whole team was pretty surprised with what they saw. A good experience, for sure!

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