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The Platform of Fly Fishing
Posted on 03/18/2019
This is the image for the news article titled The Platform of Fly Fishing

As an educator I know that the most important thing we can teach is not specific content and information but rather “how” to think.  If we can teach students how to reflect, be aware of their thinking, think critically, and to see multiple dimensions of a subject or problem; then we have helped them to become “Lifelong Learners: and contributors.  The only way to realize such lofty goals is to unite teachers and students around content that they have a passion for, hence the content Fly Fishing.

You would be amazed and satisfied to observe the enthusiasm that the students have for this class.  They are early to class, often stay after the end of the period, and many of them are pursuing the content, Fly Fishing, on their own after school hours.  This simply would not have happened without the resources to purchase the equipment that has allowed students to experience and learn first-hand two of the fundamental aspects of fly-fishing, both casting and fly tying.

With a Griffin School Foundation grant, we have purchased enough fly tying equipment for each student to create their own flies.  The flies they are tying represent a variety of food sources for fish and give the students a reason to pay attention to the entire ecosystem in which they are found.  The skills they learn tying flies are multiple and require discipline, organization, perseverance, repetition, attention to detail, self-assessment, slowing down, incremental growth, and much, much more.  The students have immersed themselves in this learning process.  In addition, for many of these students it is the first time they have experience this kind of learning.

The students are motivated by fly-fishing and so are the adults that work with them.  We make community over the platform of fly-fishing and we make connections between that platform and the most important learning: metacognition.

Thank you to the Griffin School Foundation for helping fund this class and helping me realize for a class period everyday what I have for many years dreamed that school could become. 

Bob Schiefer, Griffin Middle School Teacher