Who has ever heard of eating bugs as a school assignment? When I was in 6th grade at the Covenant School of Dallas, that’s exactly what we did. My homeroom, science, nature studies, composition, and spelling teacher Mr. Crane managed to make school the most exciting thing since DisneyWorld.
In the homeroom, our class was like a family. We had inside jokes like “the Smell-me twins”, the “furrowed eyebrows”, and “Ellie and Sky’s chit-chats” and everyone worked together for every class. For example, we had Mrs. O’quinn for history and, while she was a fantastic teacher, she gave some stressful assignments like weekly timeline quizzes where we would have to memorize, word for word, a lot of not-incredibly-stimulating facts about whatever we were learning about that week and then we would have five minutes to write it all down for a grade. I remember multiple occasions where we would have all forgotten about the quiz and, as history was our first class, we would all panic. Mr. Crane would then travel around the room and help us study with chants and helpful tips that would stick in our heads just long enough for most of us to get pretty high scores on the quiz.
Before Covenant, science had always been one of my least favorite classes, which was probably owing to the fact that I had had physics four years in a row and it was kind of getting tiresome. Needless to say, I was not at all excited to have it again for a fifth time. However, Mr. Crane made science one of my very favorites that year. We did fun labs like trying to pull a nail out of a wooden board, testing the buoyancy of legos, and racing toy cars down plastic slides. Mr. Crane would draw stick figures of us on the whiteboard doing weird things like trying to pick up a bus to explain otherwise boring concepts and make up funny anagrams to help us remember uninteresting details about gravity and force.
Nature Studies remains, to this day, the most exciting class I’ve ever taken at any of the six schools I’ve attended. Every friday, first thing in the morning, when we were all half asleep and oh so ready for the weekend to come, Mr. Crane would get us all excited by his nature studies class. We had two options every class and sometimes it was usually completely up to us what we would do. We would either watch videos about nature, or go on a “nature walk” through the forest behind the school. The videos would be about a ton of different things like a super creepy bug who lays its eggs in the paralyzed body of a cockroach or an english explorer who journeys to africa to learn about elephants whose names all start with a “W.” Nature walks would take us through secret trails in the trees or to a little river where we would skip rocks and play with frogs. Two of my fondest memories of sixth grade are the day Mr. Crane taught me how to skip rocks and the day I first touched a frog. We also ran around outside and tried to catch butterflies, and ate bugs! Mr. Crane bought chocolate covered crickets, chili lime crickets, toffee mealworms, and giant pasta worms and they were all surprisingly good! I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that some of my fellow classmates went home and begged their parents to buy some bugs for an afterschool snack!
In conclusion, Mr. Crane changed my school experience for the better and made a lasting impression on me that deserves all the awards in the world.