Most teachers begin their summer holidays in one of two ways: with rest, relaxation, and sleeping in, or as I usually do, a complete cleaning of the house as it has been neglected during the entire month of June. However, this year my holidays began in a different way. A friend and parent from my now last year’s class, Nancy, told me about a summer conference called “Think&Eat Green in Schools” (TEG). While it sounded pretty cool, it also happened to be taking place for three days during the first week of summer holidays. Hmmm, what to do when I so much was looking forward to relaxing (and cleaning), and none of my other colleagues were able to attend. I decided to go for it as it looked too good to pass up. And it was! Anyone in the lower mainland who wants a most excellent conference/institute should definitely consider attending next year. It was one of the most efficiently and creatively organized conferences I have been to in a long time, in a beautiful setting, and led by obviously enthusiastic and passionate individuals.
After attending the conference, I thought more about my teaching, about how I could incorporate all these great ideas about bringing fresh food and gardening to my students (grade ones). But I also started to think more about the environment in general, as our school is located in the most wonderful location with a forest as our backyard and an ocean a 10 minute walk away. I had always wanted to do more learning outside, but with all the curriculum and programs that need to be covered in a school year, it had somehow gotten away from me. But with my renewed enthusiasm for gardening and the outdoors, and two months ahead of me to think and plan, I decided to make this school year (2012-2013) the green year. I will take as much of my curriculum outside as possible and find the connections between our environment and the various learning outcomes I am to cover.
Sooooo, with that being said, this blog will chronicle a year of exploration of outdoor learning. Will it work? Will the rainy days of November be our undoing? Will the cold weather in January deter us? We shall see!