This spring, the Vernon Township Education Association (VTEA) hosted the district’s first Teacher for a Day
program at the Walnut Ridge Primary School. This activity, coordinated by a committee of teachers in conjunction with NJEA and with assistance from the VTEA PRIDE Committee, successfully opened doors and shared with the wonderful things that go on every day in Vernon Township’s public schools.
Eight guest teachers, including local business people, clergy members, community leaders, and a member of the press, accepted the invitation to spend the day working alongside a cooperating teacher fulfilling all of the responsibilities of an educator in the pre-K through grade one school. The Teachers for a Day taught in regular pre-school, kindergarten and first grade classes, special education classes, and in art and physical education classes and were given the choice of using the cooperating teachers’ plans or developing their own plans incorporating curricular goals.
“The guests were enthusiastic participants in the educational process and all indicated that spending the day as a teacher was a positive experience,” said Denise Docherty, one of Vernon Township EA’s Teacher for a Day committee members. “They were most interested in the changes that have occurred in education and particularly in the use of technology, as each classroom in Walnut Ridge is equipped with a Smartboard, which is utilized as part of daily lessons.”
Docherty indicated all of the guest teachers would be interested in participating in future Teacher for a Day events, and that all feel that they now have a better understanding of today’s public schools and today’s students. VTEA Teacher for a Day chairperson Mary Jane Dammers agrees.
“The primary intent of the Teacher for a Day Committee was to promote the positive spirit and collaborative efforts of the teachers, principal, therapists, and staff as they work together each day to enlighten and enrich the lives of each of the young students in attendance,” stated Dammers. “Plans are already underway for next year’s Teacher for a Day program, with the hopes that more community members will participate and we can expand it to our other district schools.”