Principals walk in students’ shoes for a day

Principals walk in students’ shoes for a day

From today, teachers and principals from around the world are spending a day shadowing the movements of their fellow school students to see school life from their perspective.

The Shadow a Student Challenge is part of an initiative called School Retool, a professional development fellowship that helps school leaders redesign their school cultures. The challenge follows four key steps: prepare, shadow, reflect and act.

Australian Christian College (ACC) Marsden Park principal, Brendan Corr, will be shadowing a Year 8 student from his school. He said he is looking forward to connecting with the students, teachers and curriculum from a perspective he is otherwise removed from.

“I’m hoping the challenge will show that what we are doing in our classrooms is achieving a community of engaged students who are well known, well-loved and well taught,” Corr said.

“I’m also looking forward to the insights the experience will no doubt provide, that will better equip us in supporting our all of students in improving their results.”

Uniquely, ACC Marsden Park offers both on campus and online modes of school and is the only non-government online distance education school in NSW.

“We understand there are instances where doing school online is more appropriate and more constructive for the student and family,” Corr said.

In participating in the shadowing challenge, Corr said he expects to uncover elements of the student experience that may otherwise go unnoticed.

“These include student sentiment about learning, students’ expectations of their own success, which subjects arouse interest among classes, and how students are interacting with one another and the teachers,” Corr said.

Following the experience, Corr will be reflecting on the day to find opportunities for improvement that he can then lead the school in achieving. 

“At ACC we’re always looking for ways to improve the student experience and fundamentally make our local, and our greater community, a better place,” he said.

“Shadow a Student Challenge is one of the many tools we use throughout the school year to understand, engage, and inspire our students.”