These are questions that were discussed at a meeting of sponsors of the TIC program from around the San Francisco Bay. (yes, steelhead are trout so the programs that hatch steelhead are part of this group too!) A gathering of all sponsors is held once a year to facilitate communication between groups, share ideas, and improve the services provided to teachers.
Here is a list of what this years (2013) participants thought about the program overall.
What we are doing right
- Opening the doors to the outdoors
- Exciting kids about science and fishing
- Improving science and math skills
- Developing future stewards of our aquatic systems
- Enhancing students (and teachers and parents) appreciation of the natural environment
- Supporting teachers
- Providing programs tied to state educational standards
- Providing classroom materials including posters, cds, curriculum
- Creating partnerships/collaborations
Areas we can improve
- Timing the workshops closer to egg delivery dates
- Helping sponsors recruit new volunteers
- Calendarizing volunteer visits with teachers to avoid holidays/testing
- Keeping tanks clean to improve fish survival
- Provide more supplementary workshops
- Helping teachers understand their LEGAL responsibilities in regards to the 772
- Inform park agencies in advance of release dates
Things we could do that we are not
- Spending more time in classrooms (sponsors)
- Provide training to science specialists in schools to help them support teachers
- Provide training for coaches and sponsors.
Do you have any ideas we missed? Post your thoughts in the comments box.