By Anyssa Bohanan
Central Oregon Daily
Ridgeview High School teacher Maegan Melchiorsen has been in the classroom for over a decade.
Her passion for teaching comes from the young minds she shapes everyday.
“The kids, always the kids. They keep us young and just to watch them grow and learn is the best thing ever,” Melchiorsen said. “When they have light bulb moments or they connect to a text or subject area, that’s what we want, that’s what we’re here for, and to see that is the most rewarding aspect.”
In addition to several other subjects, Melchiorsen also teaches Honors Geography.
Over the summer, she had the opportunity to become a student herself and take a trip halfway across the world.
“Through Portland State’s Center for Georgraphy Education Program. They do two trips a year, they do usually an international and a United States,” she said. “I’ve been on two trips in the United States with them before, never had gotten into an international trip. And decided, ‘You know what?’ the night before it was due, ‘I’m just going to apply one more time!’, and got in to this trip. It was 16 days, we were in 9 cities in Greece and basically it was kind of like a taste of Greece tour so you got to see it all, not for very long, but it was amazing.”
On her trip, Melchiorsen says she was blown away by the similarities Greece and Oregon shared on two different continents.
“I was shocked by how mountainous it is, I guess I never really thought about mainland Greece when I thought about it, they have fire season that they watch just like we do,” she said.
Now, with the start of school just around the corner, she’s taking what she learned abroad and incorporating it into her classroom.
“Part of being chosen is that you have to do some assignments for them and some lesson plans that correlate with what you teach. So this year my plan is to have my students study the history of the Battle of Marathon and really look at Phiddipides, the person that ran the first marathon as we know it,” she said. “I want them to study the course map that the initial course was run, look at the elevations, the terrain, and then go out here in Central Oregon and make their own course map that’s similar to the the very first marathon that was ever run.”
Melchiorsen says that though many other teachers in the group gravitated towards the Olympics, but she wanted to focus on Oregon’s geographical connection with another country.
“We have such amazing geography here, such awesome elevation gains and trails it just dawned on me, ‘How can I get the kids outside of the classroom and working together and using geography skills?” So it just all came together and I’m just so excited to see how it turns out and see how we can tweak it to be even better for the following years.”