Board of Ed member accepts teachers' invitation to "walk a mile in their shoes"

Board of Ed member accepts teachers' invitation to "walk a mile in their shoes"

Board of Ed member accepts teachers' invitation to "walk a mile in their shoes"

Butler School District 53 Board of Education Secretary Ahmad Sulaiman served as guest teacher in Brook Forest’s 5th grade classroom on Dec. 19.

The unique opportunity was presented to school board members by the teachers of Butler District 53 as part of School Board Member Day.

Before teaching the unit, Sulaiman had met last week with 5th grade teacher Ellen Wozny to review her four-page lesson plan that served as a guide. Students were studying poetry and the lesson centered on helping students discover the meaning and context in poetry using the Preamble of the Constitution.

Sulaiman, an attorney who was first appointed to the board in October 2016, said the experience was eye opening. “I’m amazed at what teachers do here. Everything is planned, every module, every lesson down to the minute; nothing is winged,” he said afterward. “Each student also receives individual instruction to help him or her excel,” he said.

During the lesson, Sulaiman explained the importance of the Preamble, offered stories on the history behind the writing of the Constitution and invited students to take a deeper look at the text.

“Your passion, intellect, and deep love and commitment of children and learning is something our students will always remember,” remarked Brook Forest Principal Dr. Chad Prosen. “I am so glad you were able to experience the joys of the classroom and what our teachers get to do each and every day.”

While board members across Illinois are charged with governing school districts, it is rare that they experience the role of a teacher, said Superintendent Dr. Heidi Wennstrom.

Wozny, who is president of the Oak Brook Education Association, said the offer was a valuable opportunity to learn from each other. “We wanted to invite board members to come into the classrooms and ‘teach a mile in our shoes’ and see how the classrooms operate first hand,” she said. “I know the students benefited from such an expert on the history and context of the Preamble.”


Ahmad Sulaiman, Butler District 53 Board of Education Secretary, who was first appointed to the Board in October 2016 and who subsequently was elected to the Board in April, offers his insights on the Preamble of the Constitution while serving as a guest teacher in a 5th grade classroom at District 53’s Brook Forest School.