Wild Is The Way
From Humble Beginnings

Better Than Disneyland!

Teachers from Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania participated in CBF's Chesapeake Classrooms Teacher Professional Development courses this summer. Three of them agreed to share their experiences with us. Today's guest blog is by Fran Glusiec, a teacher at Lee Davis High School in Mechanicsville, Virginia. Photos by Bill Portlock and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

For me personally, this has been a "magical" summer. It hasn't been so much about learning as about living.

Heron and sunset - Photo by Bill Portlock/CBF My summer "vacation" began two days after school let out. I participated in a three-day technology conference offered by the Math, Science Information Center in Richmond, Virginia. Each day "mini" classes provided teachers with "hands on" activities to encourage kids (of all ages) to explore a variety of math and science concepts, from nanotechnology to raising trout as a classroom project.

The conference ended on Friday at 3:30 p.m., and by 5:30 p.m. I was on a plane to Atlanta, Georgia. Saturday was about spending time with my family and having some fun visiting the World of Coca Cola and wandering about Atlanta. But Sunday was the day I waited for with breathless anticipation and wonder, for Sunday was the day we would visit the Georgia Aquarium and I would swim with whale sharks -- "Gentle Giants," measuring over 41 feet and weighing up to 26,000 tons. It was inspirational and totally exhilarating. I can't help getting, "psyched" and excited every time I think about the experience.

What I also took away from the Georgia Aquarium was a "passion." The passion was passed on to me by everyone I met there who cared for and worked with their "sea world" family.

Prothonotary warbler I doubted that my next adventure could "measure up," but after three days of participating in the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's outdoor field course entitled "Chesapeake Classrooms" I once more experienced that strong sense of dedication, caring, and "passion." It was obvious how each presenter felt about the Chesapeake Bay -- the wildlife, the land, its past, present, and future. There were Chuck's stories about the Atlantic Sturgeon coming back; Mike's mussels and the efforts ongoing to bring back native species to Virginia, as well as updates on the shad and herring populations; baiting crab pots with Ken on the James River; and Cathy's prothonotary warbler project that had all of us making birdhouses and excited about getting our students involved in a global effort to help this particularly beautiful little yellow bird.

Take a good look at the world around you -- the people, the geography, the diversity of life beneath the sea and in the air -- there is so much "magic!" And you know what? It's even better than Disneyland!

<< Read the first post in this series, "My Summer Adventure"

<< Read the second post in this series, "Wild is the Way"

Find out more about the magic of the Chesapeake Bay and how you can experience it at cbf.org.

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