Adapting

After two years, I’ve been able to return to camp to work for most of the summer.  I knew that last summer I was not meant to be at camp, but was also a little surprised when I realized that I would be back at camp this summer.  Needless to say, I have been enjoying camp immensely, from the people to the fresh air to the worship to the things I get to do.  This past week and a half I’ve been able to put up a rock  wall, climb said rock wall, put up a zip line, ride horses, and many many other things that I don’t normally get to do.

In some obvious ways, camp is very different from the school environment that I worked in over the year.  Whereas the environment I worked in was data and power driven, camp is God and people driven.  At camp, people work because they love their job and go above and beyond.  Over the year, I cringed again and again as I saw people only meeting the bare minimum requirements for their paycheck.  In camp, I constantly hear encouragement and support.  I’ll refrain from contrasting this with much of what I heard in the outside world.

I love camp.

As I’ve crossed cultures from camp to other world to camp, one thing that I’ve thought a lot about is adapting.  As TCK’s,we pride ourselves in being able to adapt and blend in.  Everyone wants to belong somewhere, and since we cross cultures so much, we get very good at adapting and fitting in.  Sometimes it’s a great skill to have.

And sometimes it’s not.  When the environment you’re in is bitter and angry, it’s not so good to adapt and fit in.  When the environment you’re in has forgotten what really matters, you shouldn’t forget that also.  So while my skills at adapting are well-honed, I realized I need to be careful about when/how I use them and be on the look out for what cultural aspects don’t agree with my faith.

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One thought on “Adapting

  1. Interesting perspective on your part. Yes, the environment of many public schools has changed tremendously since the goal moved from caring to help students become life long learners and capable of becoming productive citizens to the goal of becoming capable of filling in the bubbles on state/national required standardized exams. The change also has created an environment that has discouraged creativity among teachers nationwide. It has programmed teachers and many administrators to practice rote memorization, lessons at the recall level of Bloom’s Taxonomy and instilled a fear of job sanctions via evaluation based on student test scores.
    It is a sad state of affairs. It is a stomach turner to see and work with teachers that no longer enjoy the mountains of test data analysis and the time spent on test readiness and test administration across trimesters, semesters, quarters, etc. As a former school administrator it was discouraging too when my supervisors were only interested in how my responsibility was to ensure all test mandates were met and to ensure that the scores improved by NCLB requirements.
    Happy to hear you have an outlet to share your life experiences with others over the summer break. It will give you time to rebuild your emotional stamina to return to the classroom in the fall and care for your students – emotionally and academically.
    Thanks for sharing!

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