Educator For a Day gives local dignitaries a chance to peek inside the classroom
By BRIAN BECKLEY
Bonney Lake-Sumner Courier-Herald Reporter
November 23, 2011 · 4:16 PM
Though used to dealing with questions from the city council, residents and even the media, Mayor Dave Enslow's audience on Thursday morning was not quite what his traditional crowd.
But seated in front of Mrs. LeMaster's first grade class at Maple Lawn Elementary, the mayor did his best to answer the kids questions.
"Do you work at an office?" asked one (he does).
"Do you know the president?" asked another (he doesn't).
Enslow was one of several local dignitaries taking their turn in classrooms around the Sumner School District Thursday as part of Educator for a Day, part of the 90th anniversary of American Education Week.
"I think that was so neat," the mayor said later, after his shift in the classroom was complete, adding that he was most impressed by how hard everyone was working on their studies.
"The teacher, the students, everyone was working very hard," he said.
Between rounds of questions form the eager first-graders, Enslow took time to sit with several of the students and help them with their reading projects, one of the essential elements learned at that age.
Enslow, who joked that he was doing a little advanced scouting for a grandson about to enter the school system, said he was impressed by the high standards in the classroom and the high level of respect the students paid their teacher and their teacher-for-a-day.
"It was a great experience," he said. "It was a privilege to be part of that."
According to the National Education Association's website, the Educator for a Day events allow individuals from the community to get a glimpse of a day in the life of a school employee. The visiting dignitary performs the duties of the regular educator in a normal day—teaching class, including lunch and corridor duty, recess supervision and any other responsibilities.
The program, originally developed by the Massachusetts Teachers Association, is designed to enhance understanding among educators and community leaders. In addition, it demonstrates to public officials and other decision-makers, the successes and challenges our teachers face and underscores the need for adequate staffing, materials, and facilities for students.
For Enslow, who called the classroom "high-quality, high-caliber," his time in the classroom re-affirmed for him the importance of good school in a city and importance of having good teachers in those schools.
"Education is the foundation of our society," he said.Contact Bonney Lake-Sumner Courier-Herald Reporter Brian Beckley at email@example.com or 360-825-2555 ext. 5058.