Letter: Amazing teachers
Two recent nights, as the majority of Glenwood residents were winding down from long days at work, the fourth-grade teachers of Glenwood Springs Elementary were ramping up to skillfully, patiently and lovingly manage students as they settled into sleeping bags inside their tents at Ridgway State Park — part of a three-day camping trip.
As a parent on the trip, I had the opportunity to see the dedication of these teachers as they gave students an educational opportunity, a fun adventure and memories to last a lifetime.
I learned during the camping trip that the goal at GSES is to have every grade level connect with nature through an age-appropriate camping trip. I learned also that it’s a rarity in school districts to provide such experiences and, in my opinion, integral in teaching our future generations to care for our environment. How lucky are we as a community?
If you’ve had the experience of returning home exhausted after camping with your own family, multiply this 100 percent. When the tired group arrived back to the school, the teachers had to stay late to dry the tents out and get everyone and all their belongings back home on a Friday afternoon.
The teachers’ planning skills were admirable. We ran out of nothing on the trip, and everyone was fed healthy food. The kids were safe and well cared for both physically and mentally as many of the students were on their first camping trip thus apprehensive of sleeping away from loved ones. The students heard new sounds (elk bugling), saw amazing sights (Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and a sky filled with stars) and indulged in camping classics like stories around campfires and eating sticky s’mores.
I cannot express my gratitude enough to this amazing group of teachers. Many thanks to Stephanie Pollender, Julie Allen, Brian Berg, Lisa Olson and Christine Horch. As a reminder these dedicated teachers did not get paid overtime; rather it was a true labor of love and a commitment to our next generation.