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A Greater Impact, What Teaching has Taught Me

June 15th, 2011 | Posted by in Graduate M.Ed. Program

Mountain School has ended for me, but this recent spring session changed my life as an educator. I have become more convinced that I am pursuing the right career and that my teaching techniques have had meaningful impacts in my students’ lives. It is embarrassing for me to speak so candidly and arrogantly, but the parent chaperones have told me I am doing good work. I know this is true because in two successive weeks I choked up at home while journaling. Though I write this article more than two months later, I still feel the emotions welling inside me as I recall specific moments that impacted me earlier in the season.

I blame one student who eloquently spoke about how he feels empowered to change the world. I fault another whose sheer smile in her own accomplishments makes me tear up every time I am reminded of her voice.

International School (grades six to twelve) sent seventh, eighth and ninth graders from Bellevue to spend a whole week with us at Mountain School. Co-teacher Codi Hamblin and I delivered our Carnivore Curriculum, which capitalizes on the scientific method and provides an opportunity for students to experience data collection near campus. We guided students to actively set up an experiment that analyzes possible carnivore habitat.

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Adventures in My New Home

January 23rd, 2011 | Posted by in Adventures

Though I was born in San Diego, California it doesn’t feel like home.  For the last eight years I have lived and traveled in Japan and Chile.  Each successive place in which I have lived or traveled has been nice, and my heart has slowly been pulled away from the sunshine and blue skies where I spent my youth.  Since moving to the Pacific Northwest in June I have been quietly lulled to comfort by rainy days, cold temperatures and good coffee.   Each adventure and experience in which I have participated reinforces the sanctuary of western Washington.

At the turn of the year I participated in an avalanche safety and training course with American Alpine Institute, a Bellingham-based climbing school and guide service.  The three-day class consisted of different components of avalanche safety, practical snow science, beacon practice and rescue scenarios.  The majority of the course was spent in the locally famous backcountry adjacent to the Mt. Baker Ski Area.

Students study layers of snow and ice.

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