The KABT annual spring fieldtrip is simply an opportunity to learn and interact with fellow biology teachers. I have learned more biology than you can imagine from simply being around and listening to others! I cannot overemphasize the importance of learning with others. You build up your expertise, you build up your fellow biology teachers expertise and that is the kind of experience that will impact your teaching. The field trip is NOT a test of what you do and don’t know in the outdoors, rather it is an opportunity to absorb the knowledge of those that can identify (with maybe 90% accuracy?). I am the first to admit that I cannot name, identify, or give an natural history of quite few flora and fauna, but I attend these trips to learn (and also make fun of some of the older guys). Although as most of you know, its not necessarily what you learn but how you learn that builds your lifelong memories. I simply wish every biology teacher could experience just one of these special trips. You talk about school, kids, technology, and everything else, but you really get to absorb the thoughts and opinions of your peers. I know that I will always value the thoughts and opinions of my fellow biology teachers. This past Saturday, June 6, 2009, we met at the Wetlands Education building at Cheyenne Bottoms. After a great tour of the education center that included various displays, a teaching classroom, and an auditorium we carpooled over to the lookout tower in Cheyenne Bottoms. After eating we took a driving tour that included numerous stops along the way. Although I do not have a comprehensive list of species we encountered I do know that I saw birds much closer than I have in the past, but beyond that I had an opportunity to commune with nature with some other nature lovers. By the way, it appears that there is an inverse relationship between the quality of a biology teachers’ joke and their years of experience (personal observation during this trip). I hope all KABTers and any biology teachers that wish to will try to attend at lease one of these awe inspiring journeys around Kansas!
A couple of picts from Charlotte: