Mrs. Foote's Guide To Feats Of Earth Science
6th - 8th grade Teacher
Colleyville Middle Colleyville, TX
- 11Teacher Connections
- 19Library Items
- 23411Sharing Score
8 Teacher BadgesSee All
Have at least 30 students join your groups
Achieve 100 views of content you have shared on Edmodo
Thanks for participating in an Edmodo Training Group
Verify your teacher account
Follow a subject area community
Connect with at least 10 teachers on Edmodo
About Mrs. Foote's Guide To Feats Of Earth Science
Edmodo asks educators to post a story explaining why they teach. Here's my story.
The Armadillos group had a crisis: one of the campers had stolen cookies from the central kitchen, and the cook was not amused!
As head counselor, it was my charge to lead a group of 14 girls toward justice. On the night of the cookie caper, we sat for hours on a circled arrangement of logs as each girl shared her testimony. The light of a fading kerosene lantern revealed each girl's face as innocent enough, but we needed proof.
The Elizabeth Lanier Therapeutic Wilderness Camp for adjudicated teens was stationed deep in the Davy Crockett forest of East Texas. It closed years ago, but it once saved lives and healed at risk families by providing a safe place for learning and self-discovery. Some of the girls sent to the camp were members of Houston street gangs, and had a toughened, criminal outlook. Others were more like outlaws, and just needed redirection.
Counselors lived with their groups in primitive campsites with no electricity and no toilets. We designed and built our cabins using logs we culled from pine beetle weakened trees. Our only protection from winter storms was a sheet of plastic we stapled along the otherwise open air sides of our structures. Our focus in counseling the girls was complex: help the girls shed their anger, form better decision making habits and slowly discover a more authentic way of living.
It was the night of the endless cookie circle-up that I abandoned my plan to pursue a doctorate in psychology. We'd shared versions of the truth for hours, and it was clear another group had eaten the cookies. Still, it was the camp rule that all groups must continue discussing the theft until someone admitted guilt. At nearly 1:30 AM, in the midst of our sixth round of rambling stories of innocence, I noticed a beautiful bracket fungus growing from the largest section of our circled-up log couch. The anchoring of life on that dead tree was suddenly a fascinating distraction from our endless task.
I grabbed a flashlight to explore the underside of the beautiful reddish brown shelf-shaped life, and the mood of my group became playful, curious, elated and, finally, relaxed. The Armadillos were eventually cleared of all charges. The girls slept in their cots that night knowing more about the forest we called home. I slept knowing my path had changed.
Many thanks to my CMS colleague, Sherry David, for telling me about Edmodo. This is one of the best tools for change that I've found in years!