Perhaps you have heard of geocaching, a hunt for a box containing small treasures (e.g. little notebook, several trinkets like a pen, local postcard and other items). By using a GPS, one can follow geographic coordinates described on a website.
FIND ZUMBRUN’S ASSOCIATION GEOCACHE
Robert Zumbrun, six-year teacher at Crossroads Middle School, is an avid geocacher and member of the Association. Find his Association geocache site and gain an insight into why he is a member. It contains the following:
A note to his mother thanking her for joining her association as a post office employee after her retirement from the Air Force and serving as an example.
Several pictures of Association members from West Ada and other Idaho districts he has met through Association-sponsored trainings about practical classroom ideas and leadership.
A thank you card to the Association for allowing him to grow as an educator, to feel a part of a community and to give him a voice in the profession.
WHY IDAHO? WHY TEACHING?
Robert explains, “I chose teaching during my second year of college in 2001. I was originally an engineering major before I switched to history. I went back to school after my first degree to get my English major. Teaching was just something I knew I wanted to do.
“I love seeing that light flick on in a student’s eyes, the “ah ha” moment when they get it. I love when a student can’t wait to share something they have written and are proud of.
“Why Idaho? I love Idaho. I get demoralized, beaten down and feel the weight of non-appreciation in our profession, but I love this state. And I love my students. I know, though they don’t show it all the time, that my students need me, they need good teachers who are passionate about teaching. Idaho needs those teachers, even though it feels like they take us for granted more often than not.”
TEACHING, GEOCACHING & RECHARGING
Is teaching frustrating? “Frustration come in many forms. Apathy is the biggest one. Dealing with apathetic students is frustrating. They have given up before even trying. I try to make my classroom a place where risks are acceptable and mistakes are common place learning experiences. It is hard to improve or move forward when confronted with the apathetic attitude of not wanting to do anything. The constant poking and prodding and hovering to get work done takes me away from those other students who are making an attempt, and from those who are truly excited about the writing.
“Geocaching has helped my teaching by allowing me to escape. On those hard days that we all have, when the pressure is building and you feel overwhelmed, geocaching has allowed me to just put that all aside, to clear my mind to decompress. It helps to alleviate the stress of a hard day.
“Every teacher, I strongly believe, needs to find that one thing that allows them to escape.
”Geocaching gives me something to look forward to every weekend. It also brings me together with friends and coworkers outside of school. I have a geocaching team, we get together and get to explore and travel to places we wouldn’t normally go. We get to see the world rather than just pass through it. We also get to give back to the community periodically with events by cleaning up trash in a local park or along the side of a road or walking trail,” he concludes.