When teacher becomes student


Frances Mackinnon

Mr. Tom Fugate teaches his economics class while Mrs. Susan Lueders, his former department chair, attends his class first hour each day.

Walking into the 900 wing hallway feels very familiar to Mrs. Susan Lueders because she spent many years in that very hallway as a social studies teacher before retiring in 2016; however, this year, she is in the opposite role as a student in Mr. Tom Fugate’s AP Macroeconomics class.

I feel like a fish in water. I like school and the learning process. The students in the class have been wonderfully supportive of me. They are teaching me. [It’s] pretty neat. As a former colleague, Mr. Fugate has been extremely welcoming with this arrangement,” Mrs. Lueders said.

After her retirement, Mrs.Lueders decided to expand her knowledge by auditing the AP Macroeconomics class. The class aims to teach students how economic principles affect the economic system as a whole.

“My experience teaching history, government and sociology included a very basic understanding of economic concepts but not as a stand-alone subject. My college Economics 101 class back in 1976 did not really embrace this topic. So, this is a natural pick for me,” Mrs. Lueders said.

Mrs.Lueders is utilizing her teaching skills when approaching the class as a student, “I am trying to ‘put my money where my mouth is. In other words, I taught study and note taking skills and now it is my turn to  hold myself to that standard. I am also not afraid to ask questions even when I think I may be the only person in the room who doesn’t understand something because not only do I really want to learn, but I know that teachers like it when students show an interest in learning by asking questions,” Mrs. Lueders said.

Students also appreciate Mrs.Lueders’ approach to the class, “She’s quite an impressive addition to the classroom. She adds a whole new perspective, incorporating government and politics to the table,” Vidya Jayanthi, junior, said

Mr. Fugate also values Mrs.Lueders’ presence in the class, “I have found Ms. Lueders to be a great addition to the class. Ms. Lueders has a sense of wonderment for the various topics we are discussing, demonstrating a genuine desire to learn. She is a positive role model in the class and is willing to ask higher level questions, and knowing these types of questions greatly improve student understanding,” Mr. Fugate said.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email