Teachers have summers off. It seems a distant and abstract idea during the year then suddenly we are free to get outdoors, ride bikes and do burpees. So far summer has been filled with friends old and new, cheering on CrossFit Train at Regionals and running with the Snake River Spuddies in the Sawtooth Relay, two weeks of summer have been too rad to skim over. My core groups at TFA Idaho and Snake River have really enriched the first summer in Idaho. Thanks to Mom and Randy for having me for the weekend, Derek, Caitlin and Sean for welcoming me back to the Train crew and Levi, Micah, Sophie, Shannon and Emily for leading the Spuddies up and down Galena Summit over eight snowy and sunny hours.
Jumping back to the school year, first year teaching entailed an array of novel challenges. Lessons include when to admit that there is no lesson plan, how to react to a velocity demonstration aimed to take out future generations of Frosts and why students require specific, detailed structures in a classroom. The last few months have been particularly challenging due to the gap between the rigors of freshman Physical Science and teaching a classroom effectively. A Microbiology degree may teach you how to write a research proposal for “effects of marker organisms in the gut on the severity and duration of diarrheal diseases,” but effectively teaching Ohm’s Law and complex circuits to thirty 14-year old students is a new challenge. Not to mention maintaining the emotional wellbeing of each student. As a teacher, you are a guide, a nurse, a librarian, a social engineer, a psychologist. Students demand the best of our character during each moment, a challenge that I am so grateful for.
Regarding content, students were able to present information about how independent variables affect solar power output, how humans plan to reach Mars using foundations of force, energy and chemistry and how to learn with grit. We were also able to host an “Acceleration Academy” at CHS where students were able to lift weights, set goals, learn about nutrition and bond on a Saturday at the high school.
Coaching has been a good way to dig into the community at Caldwell High. Cougar Football is focused on fostering positive teamwork abilities, personal accountability, the opportunity to adapt to new positions and situations and clear communication. If coaching continues to produce young men that shake your hand each morning, physically and emotionally uplift one another and establish high standards of teamwork, then Caldwell Football has won more than just football games.
“Joy, gratitude, hard work, deadlifts, focus, goals, vision, empathy” are terms that jump out from my personal journal this year. These few terms provide some reflection on thoughts from the school year and help propel actions for the next year. The agenda for July and August include teaching about water management, flyfishing, the Idaho Hot Springs bike tour and some football. For more information, give me a call, I’ll buy you coffee.