We walked in the classroom, arranged the activity, and rushed down the hall to pick up the students; we all knew the drill by now! We had a few more students than expected, but after doing this so many times, we came prepared. This was our last day of our Animals and Nature class for the Sun School program, and to the say the least, it was very different from when we first started! The students raced down the hall, chattering loudly with each other as I thought about how we can make the class relevant to the new students.

It was great to finally see some of the more quiet students participate and share. One student in particular was always very stoic and quiet and difficult to engage throughout the nine weeks. I was worried that maybe we didn’t leave too big of an impact on her.  So I was surprised to hear her correctly call out the bird names of birds we had seen on our walks. Maybe her correct responses boosted her confidence enough to be more engaged, or maybe the activity was a lot more fun than the previous ones, but this student was actually participating and talking to other students.

"That's not a blue jay! It's a scrub jay!"

“That’s not a blue jay! It’s a scrub jay!”

I felt so proud of my students and what they remembered and learned. Which had me thinking about how the school systems evaluate how much students are learning. I based things off what the students themselves had said, and I’m hoping that’s what counts! These past nine weeks have been exciting and challenging, as I was learning something new each time. I was a little sad to see the students go. I hope that although this was just a little blip in their lives, it has sparked something that can last a long time.

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