It Takes A Village
Folks from around Cooke City love to come into the school to share their knowledge and expertise with the kids. Locals come and share everything from guitar and art lessons to sports, computers and ecology. Our community may be small, but everyone chips in!
Art with Catherine Porter
I try to keep the art lessons loose but structured. Our multi-layered projects this year have not been the normal in-one-sitting style of art. They are learning that sometimes art isn’t always instant gratification. But, after all of that focus, the end results have been amazing. As the puzzle pieces come together, I feel their tiny hearts quickening with excitement. Behind that wild spark in their eyes, I see their pride at being able to say “Yes! I made this!”
I recently introduced the “ASH” Program - short for Art Swap Homework Program. The kids can actually opt out of doing their art homework as long as they can present an on-your-own-time, creative project that they have worked on during the week. This gives the kids a bit more freedom, but also holds them more accountable.
Ecology with Jesse Logan
"Mostly, I go cross-country skiing with the kids. Sometimes it has been a real adventure, like the time three winters ago when we skied onto a recent wolf kill. I have formal training in entomology, and am an avid fly-fisherman, so we used this combination for a field trip to Pebble Creek. Naturally, the kids had fun playing in the creek, but they also learned valuable lessons about aquatic ecology. I've been able to arrange field trips and visiting talks by talented friends, like Yellowstone Association Resident Instructor, Amy Ranfranz who led a great wolf field trip, and a talk by famed nature writer/author David Quammen. Both related to the kids in a meaningful way, and were a lot of fun in addition to being a valuable learning experience. Overall, my interactions with the Cooke City School has been rewarding for both me and these great kids."
Technology with Alix House
"I started teaching our older students computer lessons in the fall of 2013. In the past few semesters our amazing 3rd and 5th graders have had typing lessons and done many projects in Excel and PowerPoint. They can already make graphs on their own and know PowerPoint better than most folks in town! For the 2014-2015 school year, we are working on a year-round project making a movie about Cooke City, learning not only about the history of our town, but how to operate a video camera and tripod, interviewing skills, how to edit movies in iMovie, and making logos for our 'production company.' I have a background in economics and run a small online company. These awesome kids just blow my mind with how quickly they catch on to new technology, and their eagerness to learn inspires me to work hard coming up with things to teach them!"