Medway Administrators Shadow Students to Gain Insight into School Day
MEDWAY — A new program at Medway Public Schools is giving administrators insight into the daily student experience.
This year, school administrators have continued a student shadowing program that was initially launched in early 2018. Administrators in the program shadow students for half of one school day, and fully participate in all student activities, including classwork assignments, physical education, and snack time.
By the end of this year, Superintendent Armand Pires, Assistant Superintendent Gabrielle Abrams and Director of Student Services Kat Bernklow expect to have shadowed 24 students ranging from those in preschool to seniors in high school.
Superintendent Pires came up with the idea for the shadowing program to ensure administrators stay connected with the student experience.
“It’s important to us all to remain connected to the classroom experiences of our students, especially as we make big picture decisions as administrators,” Assistant Superintendent Abrams said. “It has been a pleasure to be welcomed into the classroom by our students and educators, and to see firsthand what it is like for our students as they learn and grow from the preschool level all the way through high school.”
This school year, the district has implemented responsive classroom teaching, an evidence-based approach to supporting the development of student social-emotional skills. Responsive classrooms empower students through engagement and positive interactions with one another, their teachers and school staff, and features activities including morning meeting and quiet time. Through the new student shadowing program, administrators have witnessed the positive impact this initiative is having on students firsthand.
Administrators have also gotten a unique insight into other elements of the daily classroom experience, like when a general education teacher and special education teacher co-teach a class.
“These shadowing experiences allow us to see our educators in their natural practice,” Bernklow said. “It’s amazing to see the connections they make with students, and the joy in our classrooms. It’s remarkable.”