Reflecting back on the first day of school, the last day of classes was a bittersweet and celebratory day. Much had been achieved throughout the semester, from reading, to writing, to outdoor skills and knowledge. Passions were discovered and solidified. Questions were answered, yet many more were formed.
The environmental science classes finished up with tests and movies about how cane toads are invading Florida, while the art classes tidied up their work spaces and used collages of pictures to tell stories of the semester. The Spanish class completed one more lesson on verb tenses, while math took a moment to marvel at the way Fibonacci sequences appear naturally in plants. The English and History classes both took one more outing to observe Conserve’s campus, reflecting on all they had done. Completion and satisfaction were in the air, as well as a sense of pride from the teachers who sat back, breathed deep, and beheld all of the learning that had taken place. Indeed, the students have applied their own sense of ownership to the academic subjects, which is perhaps the greatest gift a teacher can receive.
What’s really impressive however is the growth and maturity that has flourished in the student body since the first day of school. The particulars of Conserve’s academics are available on the main website, but let’s take a moment now to hear from the students’ impressions of the semester’s academics:
“Conserve’s academics challenge you both mentally and physically because of all the time spent outdoors.” – Allie
“I look forward to going to school! The time outdoors makes it more interesting, and lets us learn more!” – Mary
“Even Mondays are fun!” –Siri
“It’s the first time in my life I’m sad seeing school end.” –Nick
“Conserve’s academics are extremely interesting, energizing, and relevant to young people.” –Linnea
“Conserve’s Academics offer the best way to feel real connection to the outdoors. They do this by providing perspectives in literature, history, science, and even math! All of the subjects add to a deeper view of the outdoors. It’s inspiring!” –Becky
“Experiential learning shows you real world aspects of problems, and shows you how to use your education.” –Henry
“Conserve’s academics are all about perspective – every subject makes you see the outdoors in a new way. You don’t realize how much you’re really learning!” –Rachel
Speaking on behalf of Conserve staff, it has been a true pleasure watching CS7 learn and grow this semester. Their work has been inspiring, impressive, progressive, and even humbling. Although like any academic journey, there were mistakes along the way. However CS7 took the errors and mishaps as valuable lessons for the future, and pressed on. In this way, true learning has taken place this semester. We can only imagine where these students will end up in life, but for now we’re confident that it will be marvelous. For myself, it has been a pleasure seeing students’ creative processes while visiting classes and blogging throughout the semester. I guess education is contagious, because even I learned new things in the process!
-Nick Voss, Academic Coordinator Grad Fellow