I’m Still Learning (and still shoveling)

Big flakes are swirling around and piling up. I suppose that is what snow flakes are supposed to do. I suppose. Snow flakes means moisture, snow pack in the mountains, no water restrictions, less fires, and – help me out here. I’m trying to put a positive spin on the fact that I keep having to shovel this beautiful white winter wonder off the sidewalk.

I have been participating in an amazing program for middle school students. The assignment was to dream up an idea (big or small) to make the world better. They had to come up with a budget (web-sites, promotional materials, and videos were options most of them used spectacularly) and a power point presentation. Then came the hard part. They had to pitch their idea to a panel of strangers for their funding. (That’s where I came in.) We acted as philanthropists or investors in a shark-tank type scenario.

I witnessed outstanding, innovative ideas from eighth grade students, and awesome teaching. The preparation and hard work by both the teachers and students was obvious. Combine that with a great set of kids and the upshot was a fun week for me. I couldn’t help and think back to what I was doing in eighth grade. I don’t think it even begins to compare.

I saw a lot of nerves and shaking before hand (that part I remember well), but no one died. Some parried our questions well, others not so much. They video taped the presentations, mostly as mentor prep for next years students, but it was good for these presenters to see where they could improve also. All in all, it was a great project based learning experience. I appreciate being asked to participate because I learned as much this week as the kids did.

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About Barbara K Tyner

A graduate of UCCS with a degree in English Lit., Barbara writes Children's Literature and fiction. Her popular children's series, The Badger Books, is co-authored with Barbara's daughter, Laura. Her first novel, "Wait Here, Wait There" deals with grief and Alzheimer's, two topics that are very difficult to manage in real life. Barbara volunteers doing school programs and speaking to support groups. National Parks, hiking, and snow-shoeing are in her list of favorite hobbies.
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