We have been at IslandWood since August—a whole four months and yet only four months. Part of me feels at home here on Bainbridge Island and on the IslandWood campus. Part of me, however, is still mystified by nearly everything I encounter here on our little island.
The floating classroom isn’t quite a boat. It has the double hull of a pontoon boat one might expect a fisherman to dangle his hook over on a lazy afternoon, but instead of oars or a motor, four student-powered pedals propel it slowly over the water at Mac’s Pond.
As a graduate student instructor for IslandWood’s School Overnight Program (SOP), I am outdoors all day long with students. Weather in Washington is pretty unpredictable and does not provide too many dry, warm days during the school year.
It was fall, just a couple months into the year for Hannah Levy, a first-time teacher and graduate student instructor in IslandWood’s School Overnight Program (SOP).
October evokes spooky imagery for many people. For the students who visited during the week of Halloween, School Overnight Program instructors did our best to make sure there was a healthy mix of whimsy and Halloween flair along with our traditional curriculum.
During our first week of teaching in the School Overnight Program I was partnered with a fellow graduate student to lead a field group of students from Bryant Elementary in Northeast Seattle.
The Asheville Farmstead School is an outdoor, play-based early childhood education center founded and directed by Lauren Brown, a 2011 alum of the IslandWood graduate program.
Not long ago, I was reminded by one of our SOP students that “seeds are life just waiting to start.” Her words prompted me to think deeply and differently about one of our garden practices—seed saving.
On the South end of Bainbridge Island, just northeast of Blakely Harbor is a “School in the Woods” called IslandWood. I live in graduate housing in a forest clearing just north of the main campus which consists of eight duplex-styled, dorm-like cabins, each side with a loft and a shared small bathroom.
After completing his graduate certificate in Education for Environment and Community at IslandWood, Tom Stonehocker began a Master in Education and a Restoration Ecology Certificate at the University of Washington.
Joe Petrick was a member of IslandWood's first Education for Environment and Community graduate program cohort. In a video in the IslandWood archives, we can see him as a young teacher leading a group of children down a trail, calling on them to be alert to the creatures of the forest.
Before enrolling in IslandWood’s Education for Environment and Community graduate program, Rebekah Gardea (EEC 2016) says she lacked a language to talk about her developing passion for environmental education.
It was the last community campfire of the year, when IslandWood instructors and children in the School Overnight Program (SOP) gather at the Friendship Circle to perform skits, sing songs, and celebrate the week of learning.
Mónica Mesquita came to IslandWood because she wanted to learn how to be a better educator.