Interim week begins on April 1st, 2019, and there is quite a variety of them happening this year. From the very first day and throughout the week, students will do something very eventful in their respective interims. The Oceana staff have not only worked on providing a fun week of experiences for students, but they have also worked to help raise money to fund those experiences. These are three teachers who share their experiences of preparing for their interims.
The three teachers I’ve decided to interview are as follows: Mr. Cruickshank of Artist’s Studio, Mr. Marelich of Movie Making, and Mr. Reidy of Backpacking. Each of them has their own interesting perspectives when it comes to planning.
For Mr. Cruickshank, his interim is about allowing students to create anything they want using the classes’ resources, and he has now hosted Artists’ Studio for around twenty years. It seems easy to prepare considering the class he teaches and his interim are both very similar, with interim being calmer and much less oriented around an outright curriculum. However, affording for students to make whatever they want can be challenging. “Traditionally it’s $200-300,” Mr. Cruickshank says, “the hardest part was getting students to donate (…) I don’t think I have many donations this year as I had in the past.” Despite how laid back preparing for Art Studio can be, applying to student demand can be very stressful when it comes to shopping. Fortunately in the payoff, seeing both students so focused on their own projects and Mr. Cruickshank having to tell them what they should make is very satisfying in the end.
Similarly, for Movie Making, Mr. Marelich gives the students an opportunity to write their own films and have them uploaded online. Since this is his first year in Oceana (and his first time hosting an interim), he hasn’t begun planning or spending money for the school because he wants to try his best having students make movies without spending anything. Mr. Marelich says, “We haven’t spent anything yet, and I’m hoping that we won’t have to spend anything. I’m hoping that we can shoot everything with cameras that we have (…), and we have the school computer resources.” Movie making is made through the student’s critical thinking of releasing movies by the end of the week.
Finally, Mr. Reidy plans students to explore the vast outdoors far from technology, but the cost of the field trip has been very high and takes a long time to prepare. Mr. Reidy has been hosting Backpacking for three years now, and he responds to this year’s upcoming experience, “It pretty much started right at the very beginning of the school year because the interim is a complete partnership with the Golden Gate National Park’s Conservancy Park Stewardship Program. They need a much-advanced warning to know that the interim is going to happen.” He has stated that cooperating with the park staff and renting equipment for the students has cost around $1,000, at least that’s how much this interim costs per year.
Although planning this interim is long-term, the park stewardship team is mostly setting up the interim behind the scenes, which makes preparing on Mr. Reidy’s part much easier when he is teaching. Admittedly, fundraising is being planned because donations this year have been fairly low, “anticipating next year teaching the same interim, we’re going to have to do some opportunities and do some fundraising.” Out of all of this planning, however, as long as students are being immersed into the outdoors and having a fun and memorable experience, then an entire school year of planning is ultimately worth it.
When attending interim on April 1st, remember how much your interim teacher spent to give the experience to you. If you donate to these interims, you’re paying not only for the benefits of the school, but for the interim teacher to keep providing wonderful experiences to future generations of students.