The concept of Educator for a Day was originally developed by the Massachusetts Teachers Association to enhance understanding among educators and community leaders. Today, Educator for a Day is supported by the National Education Association to allow individuals from a community to serve as an educator and get a glimpse into the lives of educators during American Education Week.

Six years ago, Walden University called on teachers and administrators to invite aspiring educators, community leaders, parents, and friends into their classrooms to shadow teachers and began awarding grants to PreK–12 schools that host Educator for a Day events.

This year, Walden’s Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership awarded five schools each a $5,000 Educator for a Day grant to enhance their classroom education, provide educational technology or supplies, or sponsor educational activities.

The five 2012 grant winners are: Dulaney High School, a nationally ranked public high school in Timonium, Md.; Dwight D. Eisenhower Middle School, an urban public middle school in Laurel, Md.; Goddard High School, a Blue Ribbon public high school in Goddard, Kan.; Kilmer Center School, a public special education center serving students with severe intellectual disabilities in Vienna, Va.; and Kumeyaay Elementary School, a public elementary school serving a diverse student population speaking 19 different home languages as well as a large military community in San Diego, Calif.

For Principal Lyn Whitlock of Dulaney High School, the Educator for a Day experience demonstrates to students the relevance of what they are learning in the classroom. “The Educator for a Day program provides an excellent opportunity to work with our community. Teachers and students have the opportunity to hear about the application of their education in the workplace and the presenters have the opportunity to meet outstanding students and see the educational system in practice.”

As one of this year’s grant recipients, Dulaney High School invited Dulaney alumni and other community members into the classroom to shadow and co-teach for its Educator for a Day event. The grant will help Dulaney fund its upcoming sophomore retreat.

“Our ‘Building Your Future’ sophomore retreat is an all-day class event utilizing the talents of our teachers, counselors, parents, upperclassmen, and community members in an effort to assist our 10th-graders with their future planning,” said Thomas Dugas, assistant principal. “We will work with our sophomores to build their resumes, share college admissions and PSAT/SAT testing tips and strategies, as well as hold a College and Career Fair.”

Find out how the other winners are using their Educator for a Day grants.

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