33 seniors in the Altmar-Parish-Wiliamstown Central School District had a once-in-a-lifetime experience recently: the opportunity to be the teacher, the guidance counselor or even the superintendent for the day.
Senior Swap Day is an annual event coordinated by the APW Student Government Club adviser, Beth Dunham, where senior students have the opportunity to switch places with a teacher, administrator, support staff, the transportation supervisor, the library media specialist and more.
Federico Romanelli and Jeff Tilden stepped into some big shoes, learning the responsibilities APW Superintendent of Schools Anita Murphy.
When asked how her first experience with Senior Swap Day went, Murphy jokingly said, “As usual, the students at APW not only stepped up to the role of superintendent in a professional manner, but they did a job better than I ever could!”
Senior Swap Day participation is voluntary but comes with some stipulations.
The students must meet with their swapping mentor to discuss and devise the agenda and objective for the day. Classroom learning must still go on, and students have to be prepared to teach a class, advise other students, manage the library or perform other daily tasks associated with everyday school function.
The seniors were able to request their preferred swap staff member based on their career interests or respect and admiration for that staff member.
Professional and appropriate attire for their role was required, and many students chose to take on some personal quirks of their superiors such as a bow tie or glasses.
“The students realized the importance of maturity and presenting themselves as the young adults they are,” said Dunham. “They understand more fully how much work all of the teachers and staff put in throughout the day, and they have a newfound appreciation after spending a day in their shoes. The students have also gained a new understanding of what it means to be patient, tolerant and responsible.”
Because the student swappers missed their regular classes for the day, the students were responsible for checking in with their teachers and making up work and assignments.