Parents shadowed their children for a day, learning what it’s like to be a student at STEM Magnet Academy - the first Chicago Public School with Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics as its educational focus. Unlike a typical open house, this event let parents and guardians experience the school day the way their children do, going from class to class and participating in academic activities. The teachers did not alter their lesson plans, and many parents were amazed at the difficulty of the curriculum.
“For students to go to engineering or technology class at a kindergarten or first-grade level is hard for some parents to imagine,” said Jami McDonald, a third-grade teacher at STEM Magnet Academy. “So this is a good opportunity for everyone to see what (their children) do.”
Myriam Del Angel-Miranda, the parent to three STEM students, visited her fourth-grade daughter’s class.
“Being a fourth grader again was very interesting,” she said. “I feel like they’re learning a lot more than what I was learning in fourth grade.”
The students enjoyed having their parents in the classroom, as it allowed them to show off both their accomplishments and teaching skills. Courtney S. showed her mother the perfect score she received on a test, and Kai R. taught his mom what he was doing in Algebra class.
“She did seem to look confused during Algebra and then left me a note telling me to check her mistakes”, he said.
According to sixth-grade teacher Alicia Howard, parent Shadow Day is an excellent opportunity to build on the already existing relationships among parents, teachers and students.
“The visit allows parents to see how their children learn teamwork and collaboration,” she said. And it shows them how we are all working together – parents, teachers, administrators - to help their children succeed.”
To see a video of Parent Shadow Day, click here: http://youtu.be/GhQ2OhJNFLg