What I love about this experience, is that it's different every time. I'm not talking about the environment (which is constantly changing), but the dynamics of the participants. The range of experience, ability and confidence within each group I take through is vast - ranging from super confident adrenalin seekers to the most cautious and anxious. I absolutely love witnessing the adrenalin seekers 'get their fix' and the more cautious challenging their personal comfort boundaries. Yesterday was no exception. I am so proud of how everyone tackled yesterday's challenge. The conditions in the cave yesterday were optimal - it was flowing slightly lower than normal which meant the 3 small waterfalls were super punchy and meant students really had to commit to the challenge and help each other.
The beauty of this experience is that once you're in, you're committed. Moving upstream is a lot easier than navigating downstream. There's one way in, and one way out. There were plenty of students 'peaking' throughout the experience (peaking is an expression used by outdoor instructors to describe the feeling of max-freak out and excitement combined). I was super proud of the way in which the students supported each other - with some even recognising when others' were struggling and offering help when needed. Having awareness like this is a really important attribute when tackling challenges in the outdoors. Knowing your mates 'have your back' when the going gets tough is an amazing feeling.
The exit from the cave is often what challenges students the most. It appears, and essentially is, quite daunting. A series of steel rungs protruding from a sheer rock face with nothing but a swirling torrent of water below. Upon reaching the top, you think it's all over and then are faced with a sheer cliff face, covered in slime and a space only big enough for a commando crawl to exit to the light and cheers of your fellow cavers.
I was talking to Rhea on the way down to the entrance to the cave. Her sister, Grace, had been through the cave a couple of years ago. Rhea, desperate for more information, interrogated her sister. Rhea stated that Grace could recall almost every moment from the entire experience; the environment, her emotions and how she managed herself and helped others. I asked Rhea if she though Grace could recall the maths lesson she had in Week 2 of Term 3. I know what you're thinking, apples and oranges right? But are they really?
Making education engaging, relevant and influential is the biggest challenge every educator faces today.
Wednesday, November 22, 2017
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Thursday, October 26, 2017
Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Sunday, September 17, 2017
Friday, July 7, 2017
Tuesday, June 6, 2017
Super proud of our Pikelets up at Charleston last week. With a lot of encouragement, all 17 students managed to abseil the giant 25m sea cliff! Every student gave the rock climbing 'a crack'. I was really impressed with everyone's attitudes and their achievements across the day. Thanks TPP and the parents who helped over the two days.