Enduring Excellence in Learning, Leadership, Innovation, and Service

STUDENT FOR A DAY: Principal Jennifer Ulland

Samantha Kayne and Jennifer Ulland

As part of understanding the student experience within the Indian Hill School District, each building principal received an assignment at the start of the 2019-2020 school year – to be a student for two days. The first shadow experience is with a student in the building they serve; the second is spent with a student at another building within the Indian Hill School District. This series captures the learning that resulted from the shadowing.

By Principal Jennifer Ulland

Snapshot of activities:
I followed seventh grader Samantha Kayne for my Indian Hill Middle School (IHMS) shadow experience. We had a great time solving equations in math and performing a closed chemical experiment in science. We teamed up together in Mr. Fries’ Latin class and learned several new Latin words. I also had the opportunity to shadow Indian Hill Elementary School (IHES) fifth-grade student Megan Maly. What a day! I participated in the morning meeting with Mr. Wells and his students. We learned a lot about geography that day. I was able to participate in Spanish class and enjoyed reading one of Megan’s favorite stories. The students included me in every bit of the day. I was even invited to take part in a game of Gaga Ball at recess! One of my favorite classes was math with Mr. Sommer.  

I was so impressed by what our students are doing in class. Their day is jammed packed with super-engaging activities! The experience gave me a true sense of students’ daily routines. Both IHMS and IHES strongly promote the importance of what it means to be a Brave, and our students truly exemplify that spirit!  

I had great learning moments in every class and even during our free time. I was so impressed by Go Time at IHES. My student’s group actually brought me around to the various classrooms so I could see all the different opportunities. IHMS Project Lead the Way classrooms were designing games for children with cerebral palsy. They had to consider size, materials, and ability for independent play. The students collaborated and discussed ideas within their groups – what an amazing learning experience!

Both IHMS and IHES challenged students to think, collaborate, and communicate their ideas. Students learned to work through challenges, mistakes, and come out with a growth in learning. Our teachers plan creative and innovative lessons which kept that spark to learn going throughout the day. My shadow dates were amazing! A special thanks to my hosts Megan and Samantha for allowing me to be with them all day!

What did the students think?

Samantha Kayne/Seventh Grade, IHMS: “I really enjoyed the experience of having Mrs. Ulland shadow me for the day. It gave me a great perspective check on what my school day is like. I enjoyed having her with me! Mrs. Ulland was very pleasant to be around, fun, and helpful with my school work. I hope that Mrs. Ulland shadowing me was beneficial to her and the school, and that her experience will help improve the school environment.” 

Megan Maly/Fifth Grade, IHES: “It was fun because she was really nice!”

Photo caption: Indian Hill Middle School Principal Jennifer Ulland shadowed two students as part of a professional development exercise to better understand the student experience.