The nibble. The bite. Setting the hook. Fish on! Catching a fish for the first time can be an exhilarating experience. Suddenly at the end of your line is a living, beautiful yellow perch that has just emerged from the Connecticut River. I run the fishing sessions on Magnet Theme Days at CTRA, which often introduces the sport to many scholars. It also fits neatly into our school’s theme of sustainability in that students learn about keeping the river clean and to respect the environment. Yes scholars, that body of water outside our windows does indeed contain many, wonderful animals that call the river their home. Just as importantly, fishing is an opportunity for our scholars to use their Habits of Mind. The one Habit of Mind, which comes quickly to mind, is responding with wonderment and awe.
Fishing on Magnet Theme Days has allowed scholars to learn new skills, have fun and see the beauty that the world has to offer. The enthusiasm from these Magnet Theme Days has translated into an increased attendance in the fishing club I run three times a week. Another Habit of Mind is persistence. Fishing is all about persisting through times when nothing happens. Not easy for restless teenagers, but some do learn to appreciate that sometimes persistence is greatly rewarded. Other Habits of Mind needed for fishing include taking responsible risks. Never fished before? Learning how to cast can be pretty dangerous considering the sharp hook involved. Striving for accuracy? The perfect cast at the right spot often results in a fish. Thinking flexibly? You can try different fishing techniques and tactics. You get the idea. There are 16 Habits of Mind and fishing could fit neatly into each one. So fishing - make it a habit!