Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Promoting Stewardship – Trout in the Classroom

There are days when I act like a “traditional” teacher, telling stories (lecturing) or promoting literacy (encouraging students to use the text book), but most of the time, I like to use “out of the box” teaching strategies…like this:
We worked with Trout Unlimited, an incredible organization to make this project come to life.  Not only did they provide me with a mentor (my very own former high school biology teacher!!!), but they provided all of the equipment, helped me to set up the tank, and delivered the rainbow trout eggs.  They even came with us to Bon Tempe, a creek on Mount Tamalpais, to release our fry.
Aside from spending time in the classroom watching our young trout develop, my students also enjoyed a game of Oh Trout and a Campus Debris Survey that demonstrated the importance of protecting resources in the environment and treating the ecosystem with respect.  I hope that they carry these lessons with them as they mature and move forward.
It’s hard to imagine that a school district wouldn’t embrace this type of learning.  That’s why I have had such a hard time processing the news that my temporary teaching contract at this school was not renewed for next year.  The district’s reason for this decision was “confidential.” Yes, you read that right.  The reason to not hire ME back is confidential to ME.
I am trying to look on the bright side.  We hope that our son will come home this summer, and without a full time teaching job, I’ll be able to devote more time to his transition back home…at least, that’s what I am telling myself for now.

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