Would the general public be more receptive to change in education if they were in the shoes of a teacher for ONE day? That saying “those that can’t, teach!” just irritates me to NO end. I think “Walk a mile in my shoes” is more to the point and would absolutely change perceptions of how “EASY” teaching really is.
One year, our district’s superintendent made a comment that teachers needed to “get in the real world” by implementing an 8 hour day (something along those lines anyway–too many years ago!) and my sister sent him an email inviting him to shadow her in the real world classroom. We thought she was bad-ass (she still is)! Shockingly, he took her up on the offer and spent the SCHOOL DAY with her. As he was ready to leave for the day, she told him that her day wasn’t over, it was time for track practice (she was a coach). The man had only signed on for the teaching day, not anything after that and exited the school.
I love this National Education Association (NEA) initiative of “Educator for a Day,” inviting non educators to teach for a day. The NEA has complete program overview–FANTASTIC materials to help make your “Educator for a Day” a success in your school. The only thing I would change in their program is that the participating non-educator is signing on for 24 hours, not simply one day in the classroom.
If perceptions are to really change, provide the “Educator for a Day” program in your school. The difficulties of who to invite to participate are probably the greatest challenge.
Who would you invite into your classroom as an “Educator for a Day?”
Would your administration/district allow the Educator for a Day program?