Assemblyman Gets the Chance to Spend the Day in the Shoes of a Third Grade Teacher
Eager to walk a mile in an educator’s shoes, Assemblyman Troy Singleton on Thursday participated in the “Teacher for a Day” program hosted by the Willingboro Education Association, spending the day with third grade students from Hawthorne Elementary School to get a first-hand glimpse of the duties a teacher performs on a normal school day.
“I am a product of the Willingboro school system and have always been a firm believer that teachers are not appreciated nearly enough as they should be for the tremendous tasks they perform day in and day out,” said Singleton (D-Burlington). “In light of recent events, I think it’s all the more important that we take the time to understand their needs and, particularly as lawmakers, find out what we can do to make their jobs easier.”
Singleton spent the entire day in the classroom in order to experience a full day of school activities. Under the guidance of third grade teacher April Newman, he prepared lessons and instructed students in all of their core curricular subjects, in addition to working alongside the building staff and administration to experience a day in the life of a teacher.
“This was definitely an experience I’ll never forget,” added Singleton. “It not only made me recall fondly all the teachers that have inspired me throughout the years, but it opened my eyes to what the learning environment is like these days because so much has changed since I went to school.”
Singleton, a 1991 graduate of Willingboro Public Schools and former classmate of Newman, contacted the NJEA to look into ways in which he can gain insight into the day of the life of a teacher as part of his overall commitment to experiencing the working conditions of the members of the communities he represents first hand. Previously, he has spent the day shadowing nursing home workers in Cinnaminson and firefighters in Willingboro.
“We applaud Assemblyman Singleton’s willingness to step into the role of an educator and experience the joys and challenges,” said Vicki Benedict, WEA president. “Education has changed greatly since most of us went to school, and it is important for legislators to understand those changes in order to meet the future needs of public school students.”
NJEA’s Teacher for a Day program is in its fourth year and has successfully allowed community leaders, businessmen and women, and parents to experience the educational process and witness all that New Jersey’s public schools are doing every day.