Armidale High teachers shadow students for better understanding

SWAP: Armidale High's Carolyn Lupton, Trent Edwards, Fiona Smee, Fatimah Almoadhen with Annette Callister and Mareena Ahoy on Monday.
SWAP: Armidale High's Carolyn Lupton, Trent Edwards, Fiona Smee, Fatimah Almoadhen with Annette Callister and Mareena Ahoy on Monday.

VERY few people would voluntarily go back to high school. 

But three teachers from Armidale High School took on the challenge to spend a day as a student on campus. 

The Shadow a Student Challenge aims to encourage adults in the education system to develop a better understanding of their students' experience.

Armidale High principal Carolyn Lupton was joined by two teachers in donning the school’s uniform on Monday, March 5.

Ms Lupton said the challenge was part of an exercise to develop the educators understanding of school through their students’ eyes. 

“The three of us are going to a deeper learning conference in the United States in March, and this is one of the learning exercises,” Ms Lupton said. 

Each teacher partnered with a student and shadowed them throughout their day.

“It feels very strange –  particularly seeing the looks on the students faces when they see you in the hall,” Ms Lupton said.

“It has been a bit draining. They are always on the move but also all the different expectations of different teachers.

“The students have also said how great it is and how they would like to shadow a teacher. And really it is something we should all do.”

Along with Ms Lupton, brave teachers Annette Callister and Fiona Smee signed up for the challenge. 

It incorporated all aspects of high school life including attending classes and eating lunch – even physical education class. 

Ms Lupton said the challenge allowed the teachers to gain different perspective of the Armidale-based campus.

“I’m impressed by the vibe around the place. Everyone is quite friendly to each other,” Ms Lupton said. 

“We have been making observations throughout the day so we will come together to debrief over the next few days.

“While it is all a bit of fun, there is a intent and we will be able to make some important changes.”

The challenge is open to all adults in the education system with more than 4000 educators and school leaders across the world participating in the last two years.