When Teachers Become Students

Fairchild Air Force Base Flight Simulator

What happens when you take a group of teachers and turn them into students for a day? They crash planes, spin until they are dizzy and run around a dark room playing with night vision goggles. Keep reading and you will find out why.

It is no surprise that we need our students to be college and career ready. Teachers are major players in helping to ensure that our children are ready for the next step in life. They play the roles of instructor and coach, while guiding and encouraging students to dream about future possibilities. Not every student will go to college, not every student will enter the trades and not every student will know what they want to pursue. Teachers need to be ready to help them no matter what path it is.

Greater Spokane Incorporated created a workshop series called “Teaching the Teachers” to give educators the knowledge they need to best help our students be career-focused. “Teaching the Teachers” workshops transform teachers into students for a day. The program focuses on one industry at a time, linking educators to local businesses and post-secondary education options. Some industries the program has focused on in the past include manufacturing, engineering, health sciences, architecture and design, digital media, aerospace, and more.

The connections teachers make while touring local businesses translate to possible job shadows or internships for interested students. Local colleges, universities or trade programs also get a chance to shine and show teachers what options students have.

These workshops are great at showing off how amazing the business community in Spokane is, and that students don’t need to look to faraway places to land a great, highly skilled, technical and well-paying job. We have those jobs right here!

The most recent “Teaching the Teachers” workshop was at Fairchild Air Force Base. A group of 12 educators and high school counselors got a chance to be a pilot in the Air Force for a day. The flight simulator fired up, but unfortunately the plane never successfully landed. Several teachers crashed trying to do barrel rolls!

Night Vision

Next, teachers were strapped to a chair that spun around and around, a technique used by the Air Force to treat pilots for motion sickness. After they could walk again, the group moved to a completely dark room and the teachers were handed night vision goggles and got the chance to “play” with those for a bit (seen at right).

Lt. Col. Albright showed educators how things learned in the classroom could be applied in the Air Force. He taught the group about the Aerospace Physiology program and that students learning about the periodic table, biology, the blood cycle, functions of different body organs and algebra apply that knowledge in his profession.

Teachers left this workshop with tools to equip students, professional contacts to help guide students, and the ability to answer the “Why do I need to know this?” question.

Get your company or organization on board! Contact Robyn Swanson at (509)321-3614 to host a “Teaching the Teachers” workshop.

Previously in Teaching the Teachers


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