Archives Categories

Education is More Than Just Being in a Classroom

May 22, 2015

Each spring, Jeff Driscoll, our Physical Education teacher at the Anna B. Lawther Academy from Hillcrest Family Services in Dubuque, organizes fishing outings for our students and staff.  You might have seen a group of us at Heritage Pond or if it was really windy and cold, which it has been quite often this May, you may have seen us at Bergfeld Pond.   For some reason, the weather this year has not been very kind.  The first day of our fishing outings was a gorgeous day with 70 degree temperatures.

School Fishing

Some students could be seen practicing their casting; others, were sitting at the edge of the pond all ready with their lines in the water and still others were walking around the edge looking for fish.  And this day, even after the rain from the night before, the fish could indeed be seen.  I watched a rainbow trout swim happily by a hook as if laughing at us.  Minnows were seen meandering by and a school of larger crappies seemed content surrounding another baited hook, but not hungry enough to venture a bite.  What a lovely day to be outside, relaxing while learning the skills of a good fisherman.  One student was heard to say that his dad had always told him he would take him fishing. . . but he never had.

For some, fishing was not the excitement they had been waiting for.  They were more interested in the great blue heron that swooped in to land nearby.   Some students noticed a dark-colored web-footed water bird that was later identified as a Cormorant.

Double-crested Cormorant

Still others watched for frogs, water snakes and other wildlife. And some foraged for Dubuque’s springtime treasure, morels!

School Fishing 3

This outing is proof that education does not just happen in a classroom.  The youth learned patience while waiting for fish to bite, research as they worked to identify the Cormorant, and appreciation and respect for wildlife and nature by being outdoors.  This experience will stay with them throughout their life. A Chinese proverb states: “Tell me, I’ll forget. Show me, I’ll remember. Involve me, I’ll understand.” What a glorious day for us all!

– Christine Davis, Administrator 9 – 12, Anna B. Lawther Academy from Hillcrest Family Services