Hi Molly Many thanks for this - what a fantastic thing to do! All teachers should spend time shadowing a student... This is common as part of initial teacher training! If you don't know the context it's so hard to tackle the issues. It's the same for teachers as it is for parents. Tim
Great to read your feedback and ideas – I think we’re very much on the same wavelength.
There are undoubtedly some areas where youngsters make the best teachers, and one of those is helping parents to fathom the world of technology and social media. Not only does the experience do wonders for the students’ confidence, but we’ve used the idea as a new positive focus for some of our most gifted technology students – our best school network hackers make superb teachers!
It’s always fascinating to expose parents to the internal workings of a school – everyone’s a teacher because they’ve all been to school – transforming parents’ perceptions of what teachers do and how schools work is so worthwhile! We always offer the parents on our parents’ focus group the chance to shadow a teacher for a day. It’s a revelation for them – they are invariably staggered by the pace of school life! I don’t think things were quite as frenetic a generation or two ago!
Your final point about students’ reactions to increased interest from parents is a really good one and this is part of a culture shift. Some parents have certainly found it difficult to persuade their kids to let them into the process. Most parents, however, tell us that they have made big inroads using coaching strategies. It’s so simple but so many parents say that the single biggest thing they learned from the coaching course was the importance of listening and being objective. Giving their kids space and taking time to sit with them and just listen is making a real difference.