It’s April now. The Martin Luther King Jr.
We stood huddled in a circle outside the Bainbridge Island Historical Museum early on a Friday morning, ready for the day-long experience our professor, Running Grass, had curated for us. One of my classmates led us in a silly song and dance to warm up—it’s such a joy to be with these fellow educators, these friends.
My field group of 6th graders was midway through our Each One Teach One plant walk on the marsh loop trail. These students had chosen a science elective at their school, and many had already been to IslandWood.
Washington State formally adopted the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in 2013, but to many teachers, they still feel new. With an increased emphasis on engineering, the standards call for students to study natural phenomena and to use their scientific understanding to solve problems in their communities.
IslandWood graduate student Josh Parker was just the sort of person Mike Schlafmann, Public Services Staff Officer with the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, was looking for.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education.” This quote has been one dear to me on my journey to a career in education and has recently taken on a deeper meaning.
This fall during my SOP practicum I began to experiment with integrating art and science learning. One project developed from the natural elements we were exploring.
School buses pull up and unload over one hundred 5th grade students who, as reality sets in, are suddenly experiencing a range of emotions from ecstatic to homesick and everything in between.
In the middle two weeks of November, I found myself taking on a role that was entirely new to me—school liaison. Finally feeling comfortable in my role of working with about ten students at a time, I now got to reach out to the whole 5th grade class of a school in Kitsap County.
It was a calm I hadn’t felt since relocating three months ago from the California Central Valley.
I would never have guessed when I woke up last Monday morning that I would be on the evening news.
A few weeks ago, I went out to the beautiful Cedar River Watershed Outdoor Education Center with my supervisor for my practicum—Green Jobs Research Assistant at Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) and the SPR environmental learning unit, a team of naturalists and environmental educators—to plan 2018’s environmental education.
IslandWood artist in residence Jah Breeze was walking down the path on his way to the art studio, when he ran into a group of children with the School Overnight Program (SOP). “Jah Breeze!” they called out. Some of them knew him from his work in Seattle, others had heard about him from their classmates while at IslandWood.
I think of the School Overnight Program (SOP) like a laboratory where I can test the hypotheses and ideas that I’ve generated in my coursework in real-life scenarios. One “experiment” that all graduate students conduct is the investigation lesson.
Last winter holds the remarkable distinction of being the wettest winter ever recorded in Seattle. The rains were indeed epic. Like all gardeners, we worried about what this would mean for the health of our plants. Some seemed unfazed by the seemingly endless rain. A few even performed better than usual.