Sunday, May 22, 2016

Switch Day at #WebbElem

A few years ago I worked under a principal who had us do a "Switch Day" one day.  What is a Switch Day?

Well we were given a teacher in another grade level and we had switch classes for about an hour or so to get a glimpse of what it was like.

So this year, as the leader at Webb Elementary, I wanted to do the same.

When I mentioned what was going to take place, I got three reactions.  I got groans, excitement, and fear! But as we talked about the experience, people's fears began to be eased a little.  We can do anything for an hour, right?

So I assigned all our classroom teachers partners to switch with.  Someone who was at least 2 grade levels away from their current grade.

I wanted my team to get to experience other grade levels.  To see what other teachers go through.  To see that we all face different challenges.  And to give a better perspective.

We did our Switch Day this past Friday, and it went GREAT!  Teachers were buzzing everywhere about how much fun it was.

Now, some people have asked, If I make the teachers plan the lessons for the classroom they were entering?  Well, they were able to decide that with their switch partner.  Most teachers left a lesson (like they would for a sub) for the incoming teacher to teach.  But I loved walking by classrooms all day and seeing amazingness happen.

I gotta say though, my favorite was seeing science experiments from 2nd and 5th grade teachers being done in PreK.  Those kids were just eating up every second of it, AND learning amazing vocabulary too!

When it was all said and done I asked my teachers for some feedback/takeaways....here was some of what they said:

It was very fun! 
-Pre-K teachers are amazing! :-) -I enjoyed pre-k WAY more than I thought I would!  Thank you for this opportunity. My mom served as a pre-k teacher/director for years. I definitely have more appreciation for what she did on a daily basis. And, I'm SO thankful for our pre-k teachers. 
I truly enjoyed switching today. It was kind of like the TV show WifeSwap. When I returned to my class my students acted as if they had not seen me in a week! I had missed them as much as they had missed me and it was only for an hour! The kinder students were fantastic but I just missed my kids. There was nothing wrong with the teacher they had and my students all said they had a good time but they missed me for some reason... It was great!
It was neat to interact with kids that I do not usually see other than the hallways or in the cafeteria. I loved being able to see how I could scaffold down activities to suit a lower grade. It was also interesting to see how I needed to adapt my management to a lower grade level as well. VERY eye opening. I would suggest for next year, doing one in the fall and one in the spring.
I loved it!!!!
Loved it!!!
While in the third grade classroom I did not tie any shoes!!!! If we do it next year, I would like to do earlier in the year. I think January would be a good time.
I liked it because it helped me appreciate the teacher I switched with and see what she deals with everyday.
I loved it. We got to plan the activity and the kids were excited to participate. The only thing I would change is the date because the last weeks of school are hectic.

As you can see it went over great!  And I totally agree with some of the feedback of doing it earlier in the year!

I can't wait to continue these conversations and try even more exciting things next year!