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Posted: June 4, 2017 5:00 a.m.

Letters home from Alcovy High’s future educators

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Students in Alcovy High School’s Teaching as a Profession program recently went on a field trip to visit Northern Michigan University’s (NMU’s) School of Education. Some of the students were kind enough to share “letters home” as well as pictures of their trip with The Covington News. As you will read, they learned more than a few life and academic lessons.

The trip was led by Mr. Richard Cormier, Alcovy’s Teaching as a Profession instructor. Throughout the 2016-2017, he and his students have periodically used teleconferencing technology to connect with NMU college students studying to be teachers. The Alcovy students and the NMU students used those opportunities to discuss topics related to teaching.

The field trip to Marquette, Michigan to visit NMU as well as the students and teachers there, served as a culminating event for the class and was designed to let the Alcovy students learn what a college-level school of education is all about.

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Dear Dad,

Today we left for the Michigan trip, as you know.  My biggest fear was the plane, and you knew that. I talked to you a million times about it. I really thought I could conquer the nervous feelings but as soon as we arrived at the airport in Atlanta the feelings set in and my heart sank to my feet. Of course I didn't show it but I couldn't help but think in my head how I just wanted to be home, at that point I don't think I cared about the trip at all, I just suppressed my thoughts and took deep breaths. The next few hours at the airport were quit an experience.

It was my first time EVER being there, despite what everyone says about TSA and airports in general it was a pleasant experience. I had a laugh with a man who set off the metal detector.  It was his belt.

Finally it was our turn to board and then again came the nerves. THERE WAS NO TURNING BACK. I WAS DOING IT. I HAD NO CHOICE. As I was standing in the line on board the plane the pilot looked over at me, he and the flight attendant said at about the same time "you look scared,” and I just shook my head, he then said “come up here” while pointing to the cockpit. In surprise I said, “Oh my gosh really!” He was for real, so I sat in his seat and he snapped a picture of me.

On my way out he reassured me that I'd be fine. I then went to find my seat in the very back. I got the window seat. It was a row of three; me, a stranger, and Mr. Cormier. Little does Mr. Cormier know I was more than thankful that he was with me. I thought if anything had happened I'd be with him at least.

I'm quite talkative too, so I quickly made friends with the stranger beside me, Cormier would say I forced her into the relationship. I began telling her that this was my first flight and I was super scared. She said she had flown many of times and there was nothing to worry about.

At this point we were getting close to take off. My nerves were everywhere and I was inwardly freaking out. For some odd reason I felt an urge to ask the lady beside me if she'd hold my hand. At this point there is a debate if I even gave her a choice. So she did, through takeoff and into the air.

We finally let go. Cormier and the moms beside us got a kick out of it. Once in the air I felt better; fully liberated and relieved of my fears. It was beautiful at the top of the world. I got to see the Ohio River, Lake Erie, and Canada.

Beautiful is an understatement. You'll have to see it for yourself one day. At that point I was excited and no longer scared. When we landed I was ready to do it again. I still am. I believe I had a unique first-time flight experience and I am thankful. I encourage you, I have opened up a world of opportunity for myself and I could have stopped myself many of times.

See you soon and I love you,

Harley Stevens

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Dear Friends and Family, 

The Future Georgia Educators got to experience a trip of a lifetime. We got to go to NMU and tour the school, hike to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain, eat lunch on the beach, bike to Presque Isle. My personal favorite was the hike to the top Sugarloaf Mountain. We were able to be adventurous and learn new things all at the same time. The view at the top was unbelievable. I was able to hike with all my friends that want the same future as me as an educator. Everyone there was very welcoming. I hope to one day go to NMU and carry one the Wildcat tradition; today an Alcovy High Tiger and tomorrow a NMU Wildcat.

Kaylee Carter

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Dear Granny,

The last six days have been the best days of my life. A teacher named, Mr. Cormier, gave me and about fifteen other students and their parents the opportunity to fly up to Marquette, Michigan to visit Northern Michigan University.

The travel was so very long. It took us two hours to fly to Detroit and about nine hours to get to Marquette.

When we first got there, it was freezing cold. My teacher told us it would be cold but no one thought it would be this cold.

As the trip went on, I learned and saw many different things. The small town was beautiful and the people up there were amazing. I did many things I never thought I’d do. I rode an airplane. I hiked. I walked on rocks in one of the five Great Lakes!

My favorite part of the trip was probably hiking, going to the beach, and being able to experience something like this with my favorite teacher and my mom.

When I hiked Sugarloaf Mountain, it was like I was in heaven. I love the atmosphere. I have never seen anything like it before.

I got the chance to learn about becoming a teacher from teachers other than Mr. Cormier. This trip to NMU was a blessing. I know you will never be able to see me graduate but I do know that you're in heaven smiling down at me. I love you and I miss you granny.

Love,

Jamyiah Benton

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Letter for my family back home,

So far my trip to Northern Michigan has been amazing. I have done things up here that I have never done before. I never thought that I would get on a plane or a train, but I did. I always said that I can’t but it turns out that I can.

We had fun up here and meet some cool nice people. They were really nice and they welcomed us like we were at home. So I really do appreciate them and Mr. Cormier for this trip.

Up here we went to classes. It felt like we were really students at a college. We went to one class where we had to sing with different types of helium and in one experiment he turned water into something solid and we thought it was still water in the cup.

We also got to meet NMU President Erickson and he was really nice and kind. So were the other guest speakers we had, I enjoyed myself here and who knows, maybe I would want to go to Northern Michigan University.

Sincerely,

Sequoia Ruff

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Dear friends and family in Covington,

I had the privilege of spending the last week at NMU. Let's just say I'm shocked I didn't freeze to death. Although it was pretty cold I got to experience some pretty awesome stuff.

I hiked to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain. Although we took the easy path it was not easy, but well worth it. I got to go on a bike ride to see the black rocks. They're some of the oldest rocks in the word. I also got to taste the water in Lake Superior.

But I also got to experience the life of a college student at NMU. I got to meet a few professors and some of the students. There's a different atmosphere at NMU that I've never experienced before.

People are welcoming and very friendly. You don't have to be afraid to walk around campus, or even Marquette, alone. The professors remember you and who you are and what you are into.

I’ve lived in Covington my entire life. I've never even moved houses before. I'd be lying to you if I told you I'm not considering moving 20 hours north to go to NMU for my junior and senior years of college.

Sincerely,

Rachel Breanna Langford

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Dear Mom,

I've had so much fun on this trip. This is the best experience I ever had in my life so far. Just the thought of being so far away from home and meeting new people and also being able to try new things is wonderful. If I ever had a chance to do something like this again, I would gladly take advantage of that opportunity because this isn't something that happens every day. I really thank everyone including you who made this happen for me.

Alaiyah Rowell

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