Tuesday, May 10, 2016

May 11, 2016: "Shadowed by the Principal" & #NoOfficeDay Live Blog

On Wednesday, May 11th, I am participating in a "Shadowed by the Principal" event.  During the spring LNC Casino Night, a silent auction item was available for families to bid on the opportunity to have their high school student shadowed by the Principal for an entire school day.

The winning bidder was the Newton Family, so the receiving student is Jackson Newton, a 10th Grader.  We coordinated our schedules and selected the date.  Coincidentally, we are currently in our Spring Spirit Week, and May 11th is Twin Day.

In addition, I am utilizing this opportunity to double as a #noofficeday, which is a popular effort by school administrators to dedicate an entire school day out of their office.

I will be attempting to update this blog post throughout the day to share my experiences.

Updated 2:45 PM, May 11, 2016

Jackson arrived at my office around 7:20 AM.  After a quick prep for the day, we took a walk to the student parking lot to meet his girlfriend.  Upon returning to the building, it was quickly evident many students don't realize that today is a "Shadowed by the Principal" event, but rather that I simply dressed like Jackson for Twin Day.

7:45 AM 1st Period - Civics and Economics Honors - Coach Wiehl

Students are currently responding to reflection questions from Acid Raid activity, proposing solutions to the Acid Rain Problem.  This is connected to learning from other contents (Water Cycle), and stems from previous learning of World Trade Organization.

Student responses are very insightful and intentional.  Coach Wiehl requires students to defend their proposed solutions.

Today's new instructional topic includes Global Economics.  We viewed a John Stossel video clip on "Rinkonomics". Interesting points of view on Spontaneous Order.  Students recognize the bias of value of limiting government regulation and this results in solid discussion, continued insight.  I was able to participate in the discussion.

8:42 AM 2nd Period - Biology Honors - Ms. Smith

Agenda includes student presentations, Protists under microscope, and Plant notes.  Students are currently reviewing virus and bacteria in prep for tomorrow's test, facilitated by Ms. Smith.

Interesting: You get a flu shot in the fall, but still get the flu in the spring. Why?  The flu virus evolves (Strain B) that quickly, the vaccine isn't as effective in a matter of months.

Transitions to Biology Honors Project presentations: The Effect of a Predator's Scent on Squirrels' Eating Habits (by Olivia M.), The Affect of Aging on Human Hearing (Jake M.), Is Smell Related to Taste (Mary C.), Effect of Ethylene Emissions on Ripening Rate of Fruit (Grant M.).  All students did a great job.

We transitioned to looking at Protists in water samples (pond) through microscopes. Very cool.

9:40 AM 3rd Period - Math III Honors - Coach Zamiara

Coach Z is facilitating a rapid review of characteristics of a "normal" distribution data graph, focusing on vocabulary.  A lot of references to statistical content, which will be extremely beneficial to any students who eventually move on to take AP Statistics (ex. empirical rule, Central Limit Theory). Students are able to accurately identify characteristics of the standard deviations and other parts of the graph.  Zamiara makes reference that no matter what major a student has, they will have a Stats course at some point, whether it's AP Stats or in college.

Transitions to "Sheep Dash" stat collection activity, to measure "How fast your reactions" are; we will determine "five averages", which includes 25 attempts.  The entire class records their data on the front whiteboard and Coach Zamiara is entering into L1 and L2 tables in TI-84 calculator, displayed on Smart Board. Students lead Coach Z on the calculator process to display graph.

We collectively create quartiles and the standard deviations/percentiles appropriately on the distribution bell curve.  We continued into an extension of determining individual percentile values by standardizing our values.

10:38 AM 4th Period - English 10 Honors - Ms. Hoffman

Content focus for today is Epic of Gilgamesh.  Students are called on randomly to respond to plot-related Questions/Review of Gilgamesh.  This involves some students reading orally from the text (specifically, "The Search for Everlasting Life").  Students actively share their thoughts on Gilgamesh's character qualities, guided by the provided questions.

Students get the opportunity to collaborate and discuss in pairs (ex. What do you think is the purpose of Gilgamesh's boasts to Siduri?).

The random student selection also includes me, as Ms. Hoffman calls on me to actively participate within the entire class.  I share my thoughts on Gilgamesh's reaction to Siduri.

Class concludes with the oral reading of "The Story of the Flood" from the Epic of Gilgamesh.  Homework is for students to finish the reading and make sure all provided reading questions are answered up to current point in the text.

11:31 AM Lunch

I was able to enjoy a burrito outside in the courtyard with Jackson and others.

11:59 AM 5th Period - Chorus I - Ms. Connell

I previously cleared with Ms. Connell that I am not required to be a "full participant" in Chorus today, especially since they are engaging in final prep for the Spring Concert.  While the Chorus students initially were eager to ask me to join, I am truly doing them a favor.

Jackson and two students are preparing a dance routine for High School Musical III, specifically the song Now or Never.  The scene involves basketball and I am able to provide constructive criticism of their "dance" routine.

This has allowed me a very "behind the scenes" preview of their performance.

12:52 PM 6th Period - AP Psychology - Coach Reeves

All students took the AP Psychology Exam last Monday.  Students are analyzing and diagnosing the villains with psychological disorders of the Batman Trilogy.  Students compose a 200-300 word essay backing-up diagnosis with specific deviant, distressful, dysfunctional behavior.

We finished The Dark Knight and began The Dark Knight Rises.

1:53 PM 7th Period - Spanish II - Coach Joyce

Today's class consists of Quarter-Project Presentations.  The presentations require students to speak in  all Spanish for the first part, following with a presentation in English.  The Quarter Four projects involve either music or food with a cultural focus.  One example: The food/culture of Costa Rica.  Yes, I was able to eat some of this project (empanadas).

Students are completing "Evaluaciones de proyectos", which are peer evaluations of the respective presentations.  Students provide feedback on created interest, visual/content, etc.

Students are required a complete a project each quarter, selecting from type of food, books, music, or even a created piece of art from the perspective of an artist of Spanish culture.

2:45 PM  School-day concludes

Thanks for viewing,


The opinions shared in this blog belong to Craig Smith and do not represent the school or district in which he works.


  1. Mr. Smith, I love this! As school administrators, it is so important to know and understand all that our students are faced with everyday- academics, social life, pressures from school and home, etc. I think we should do this more often. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thank you for sharing this, Mr. Smith! I loved reading about your day with Jackson! I have a fifth grader and am very encouraged by what you did and what you wrote about. I appreciate your involvement and enthusiasm with your students!