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10 August, 2002

It’s Day 6 of TEA Orientation. My brain is full and I’m waiting for some time to elapse so that I may fully digest the contents of this past week. As our grand finale, we spent yesterday and today figuring out how we will be using this experience and passing information on to our colleagues, classrooms, and communities—otherwise known as “The 3 ‘C’s”.

We spent much of our time developing plans for mentoring our teaching compadres, putting our collective heads together to improve science programming in our schools. As part of the TEA program, each parcticipant is required to mentor 3 colleagues for 140 hours each. The mentoring will go beyond polar- based information and curriculum to include topics and methods that enhance the teaching of science in our schools. A daunting task, perhaps, but one that I think will prove to be valuable and, just maybe, a lot of fun. Oh, did I mention that it would be a great learning experience too?

Tomorrow we all return to our homes and schools with visions of the Arctic and Antarctic floating through our heads. It has been great getting to know the new TEAs and program support staff and enjoy the company and collegiality of the week. The abstract image I had of TEA has begun its slow transformation from a vaporous cloud to ice throughout this orientation week. Plans are starting to solidify, and I am excited about my upcoming experience.

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