(School) Trip of a Lifetime

By Rianna Ayoub, senior

Everyone looks forward to something during their senior year. Whether it be Prom, Grad Night, or simply getting out of here. Well for me, the thing I looked forward to the most was the Digital Marketing trip to NYC for Social Media Week.

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Social Media Week is a worldwide conference that curates and shares the best ideas, innovations, and insights into how social media and technology are changing business, society, and culture around the world. The people who went on this trip are our Social Media Team who make the content for BHS, so we could apply the ideas we learned to the content we make for our school. We heard from awesome speakers such as Megan Summers from Facebook, and even David Harbour, or “Officer Hopper” from Stranger Things!

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Besides from the conferences, we had plenty of free time to explore the big apple. There were enough chaperones for us to split up and do our own thing, so I did many different things such as go to the Empire State Building, 9/11 Memorial, Central Park, Chelsea Market, cool dessert shops, and more.

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Going to NYC was such a different experience, for I have never traveled to the East Coast. I plan on going back as soon as I can. If you get a good school trip opportunity, take it. Hands down. You never know what you will learn, see, or how much fun you will have!

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The Process and the Unseen

By Mr. Matt Hottmann, English teacher, basketball & tennis coach

LEARNING TRANSFORMS US.

Lately my mind has been wrestling through two primary topics: the process and the unseen.  I think both relate to the Beaverton High School experience.

First, given that my wife is a Tennessee Volunteer, I happened upon a video by former Vol defensive back turned inspirational speaker, Inky Johnson.  His mantra is that “the process saved his life.”  I’ll steer clear of telling his story in far less eloquent terms than he, but his lesson is that the everyday habits and responsibilities we curate are what enable us to tackle adversity.  As I look at my classroom, I find the same to be true.  It might not be about learning the cross-price elasticity of two goods (though it certainly will be on the Unit 2 exam), but perhaps it is about developing the skills to learn that formula in the first place.  I had many students realize they didn’t quite understand and then came in for help during Beaver Lodge.  This process of learning and discovery and resiliency cannot be learned through the instruction of easy things.  So perhaps the process of education and pushing oneself and consistently doing the work is ultimately more important than being able to recall the definition of demand elasticity in a few years.  Perhaps.

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And perhaps the process is also how one accumulates knowledge.  Maybe it is the consistent process of thinking critically and being able to see nuance.  Maybe more important than being able to sit down and calculate a percentage is the ability to sense when it has been done incorrectly.  This inkling that something is amiss can only be developed through a process of inquiry and consistent thinking and experience.

The other concept that I have been wrestling with lately comes from my AP Economics curricula.  That course stresses the subtlety of the unseen playing an important role in our lives.  Both opportunity cost and Smith’s “Invisible Hand” hint at the idea that there are unseen elements that need to be accounted for.  I think this week is a primary example of the unseen benefits of being at Beaverton High School.  Yes, I sincerely believe that calculating marginal revenue is important, but so is putting on a homecoming assembly for a crowd of 2,000.  When our leadership class goes through that process, quite a bit of learning is occurring.  They are learning how to organize.  They are learning how to be aware of their audience.  They are learning how to connect and move a crowd and they are learning to be flexible if a microphone is accidentally turned off.  Far more learning can occur in the unseen than in the rote dictation by a teacher.

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The same type of learning is undeniably present on our fields and in our auditoriums.  Students are learning about how to connect with others, how to face adversity, and how to balance their time and expectations.  Our football players are learning how to recognize visual cues through extensive video research and then what their appropriate response should be to that formation, often demanding that response in a split second.  Our musicians are learning how to hear and coordinate with the musicians around them.  Our thespians are learning how to display authenticity with their voices and their body language.

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All of these things are occurring at Beaverton High School and none of it has to do with direct classroom instruction.  As I look back at those who have taught me in life, I can rarely articulate what exact thing was said to make me learn, but I can clearly identify what it is I learned.  Sometimes the best learning isn’t directly measurable, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t occurred.  These unseen lessons are why I love the comprehensive high school, especially BHS.

Learning, Defined.

By Jason Sarmiento, BHS teacher AND alumnus

LEARNING TRANSFORMS US.

I grew up watching a TV show called Boy Meets World.  In the very last episode, the main characters say to their teacher, “We wanted to know if you had anything left to teach us.”  His response was, “Believe in yourselves… Dream… Try…. Do Good.”

In truth, I cannot remember what I learned in high school that had anything to do with math, science, English, social studies.  What I can remember were the lessons that I learned about myself.  I learned how to dream. I learned how to deal with adversity.  I learned how to manage my time.  I learned to leave a place better than you found it.  I learned how much impact a person’s actions could have on others.  At the end of the day, I learned who I was and how to be a better person.

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It was easy for me to fall in love with teaching.  I get the opportunity to teach others the same lessons that I learned in high school and throughout life.  Learning doesn’t have to be about content.  In fact, it is often the extra lessons that transform us in to who we are.  “Believe in yourselves… Dream… Try… Do good.”

Think. Learn. Dream.

By Anne Erwin, BHS Principal

LEARNING TRANSFORMS US.

One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish.  I vividly remember sitting with that book with the yellow cover and colorful pages.  I held it on my lap, scanned the pages.  Now the letters formed words and I was the one reading them, not my mother, not my father but ME.  It was as if the power to read came alive in one instant.  Becoming a reader transformed me into a learner.   

Flash forward to my third grade classroom.  My teacher was trying to pull independent thought out of our parrot-like brains.  She would ask a question and we would offer up the answer we all thought she wanted us to regurgitate.  “Think” she encouraged.  Same question, same answer.  She took off her glasses she and pounded on the desk “Think!” Same question, same answer.  She jumped onto the desk “Think, for the love of God, think for yourself” she implored.  Her demands that day and every day transformed me into a thinker.

Race ahead to a freshman world history course at the University of Oregon.  Sitting in the back of the room I looked around at the assembled colleagues.  I glanced out the window onto the expanse of lawn and college looking buildings. All at once a wave of realization washed over me.  “I’m in college!”  My fate as a learner was sealed.

For over twenty years I stood before my own students and watched as they discussed and debated the topics of the day, wrestled over essays, and negotiated readings.   Every day, I learned as much from them as I tried to teach.  And now as a principal every day, every action, every dream is about learning.