Business, community leaders serve as Educators for a Day

2011-11-16T19:21:00Z 2011-11-16T22:14:15Z Business, community leaders serve as Educators for a DayBy ROB ROGERS Of The Gazette Staff The Billings Gazette
November 16, 2011 7:21 pm  • 

Educator for a Day is an annual outreach event organized by the Education Foundation for Billings Public Schools to better connect business and community leaders with the schools in Billings.

This year, 75 people participated and spent Wednesday morning shadowing principals and teachers in all of Billings' 30 schools.

"It's definitely a great way to learn about what's going on in the schools," said Travis Landers, general manager of McDonald's Corp. in Billings.

It was Landers' third time participating, and on Wednesday he was at Skyview High. Many of his employees come from high school, so visiting helped give him a little better insight to their world, he said.

Overall, he said it was a great way to experience what's going on day-to-day in the schools.

"You learn about what the struggles they face, the challenges they face," he said.

Samuel Thomas, a select accounts executive for Century Link, saw just that with his visit to Washington Elementary. He said it was a different world compared with when he was in school.

"It's amazing some of things they have to deal with today," he said.

Teachers and staff members have to learn to respond to social issues and teach students skills that used to be taught in the home, he said.

"And if they don't, who does?" he said.

It was Thomas' first time participating in Educator for a Day, although he's no stranger to schools. Along with his job at Century Link, he's a volunteer with the Kiwanis Club and regularly visits schools with the group.

The difference, he said, was that Educator for a Day offers a different perspective on the challenges schools face.

"It was nice to get a closer view," he said.

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