Saturday, May 18, 2013

Thank you Mr. Peck!

With the calendar's turn to May, big wheels (and big dreams) kept on turning. After the Hawaiian adventure  I returned home to my roots in the Wenatchee Valley. I had plenty of catching up to do: with friends and family, with my fifth grade class at Osborn Elementary, the Columbia River, and five months of accumulated mail.

Catching a glimpse of the old trains and steam engines outside of town.

Beginning the day with Mr. Peck's 5th graders.
With all the travel of ski racing season being in full-swing, I had only two days in the classroom with Mr. Peck since Christmas before I came back. During that time away, I had to stay in touch via postcards and photographs. It's always better to be there in person to give them a high five after  the opening bell to class. In class, the 5th graders were collecting wildflowers for their collection, watching quail eggs incubate and hatch, and making worm tea from the castings of worms the kid's were each growing in class. With such a lively bunch of kids, and so much stimulus, there was hardly a dull moment. It's pretty amazing to think what teachers do, how they are able to have enough energy to charge hard and motivate kids, day after day. Comparatively, a fifty kilometer is a sprint!

After 35 years spent teaching and coaching in the Leavenworth School District, Mr. Peck is calling it quits. Well, sort of. Starting in June, he's taking a new job with Teton Science Schools where he'll work with new teachers, helping them perfect their craft in education. Greg's speciality comes in placed-based teaching of field ecology and experimental education. With the campus sitting on Teddy Roosevelt's Dude Ranch in the foothills of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, I think Mr. Peck's change of employment will be the ideal venue and opportunity for him to help groom the next wave of teachers in America. It's been an honor and a privilege to work with Mr. Peck in the classroom. For eight years now I've been visiting his class and conversing when overseas with his classes. For the past five years, I've done this with In The Arena. With Amory and the ITA team behind me, I've been more diligent with these responsibilities. Thank you Greg! Thank you Amory!

Now I've had to say my goodbyes. The last days I've been cracking the books myself, nearing the end of my work for a Masters in Professional Communication from Westminster College in Salt Lake City. But there's still work to be done, both in the classroom and on the roads and trails in anticipation of Sochi 2014.

Until the next time -- a special report from Salt Lake City. 

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