Friday, October 2, 2015

Reflections on the TTEC Experiences

Jessica Leach
Stearns High School
Millinocket, ME
2015 TTEC Cohort

September 28

When this journey started I had no idea what I was getting myself into. All I knew was that I loved hiking and being outside. This program has brought that to me and so much more. In May of this year Rose and I heading to the White Mountains in NH. We were not even sure what we were doing. After the intensive first workshop we had lots of ideas with lots more questions. 

At that point our plan was to try and get kids on the  AT at our closes spot. Hurd pond lean-to. This process would involved lots of volunteers, bus drivers, monies and lots more. We thought we would maybe start a map of the trail and when you read so many books you walked so many miles. The challenge being the class or group that finishes first gets a field trip with a hike on the AT.  It all sounded so great and exciting but really hard to make happen.

West Virginia was in our sites and we could not believe we were heading there for a week long workshop. I have been teaching for 14 years and one half day workshop is usually enough. The classes were great and the time we spent there was full of learning and ideas. Our group of 7 from NE was becoming closer and I was really enjoying that. 

During that week Rose and I had decided that we are going to start doing work on our local walking path with incentives to get on the trail. We were going to remove an invasive species from the path while also giving the students the knowledge of plants and their habitats. It was a great idea and a good transition from our original project. This one seemed a bit more realistic. We would get speakers to come in and talk about phonology and plants, backpacking, leave no trace and many more things. Our grant list was getting bigger with the help of Evan our vista. The idea was coming together. The walking path was the great idea with speakers, grants, 4th graders and much more. 

One week from our final workshop and I receive a text message from Rose. She wants to change our project to White Nose Bat Syndrome. I say sure, lets do it.  Our final workshop is in Vermont. It takes us 6 hours to get to Delia's house, 2AM we arrive, with a full day on Friday.  

I was excited and ready for our workshop. We all trickled into the library that our workshop was held in Quechee, Vermont. All our friends and partners in this journey are here for the last time also. Rose and I talked and discussed our options for the final proposal. We got our power point together and presented. WNS it is, putting up bat boxes and monitoring them with the 4th grade. We just needed the final part of tying in the AT.  Hikes, speakers and grant money to get us on the AT is our goal. Helping bats and relating all the science about bats to the kids is going to be enjoyable because they will have the opportunity to see real life science in action.

We left Vermont at 2:30 with a tear in our eyes for a few reasons. We can not be  TTEC's anymore, just an Alumni. We will not get to be together as a group again in a workshop. These people have become our close friends and colleagues. They have taught me so much and how to think out of the box.

All our instructors have been amazing and insightful. I hope that one day I can be as wonderful a teacher and inspiring to many as these people have that facilitated this project.

No comments:

North Carolina NCCAT participants

North Carolina NCCAT participants
At the Wayah Bald Fire Tower

Mary Jane

Mary Jane
On top of Silers Bald