Stepping Back into the School Year

The time has arrived to enter into a new school year. This summer I focused on decompressing from the previous 18 months of pandemic teaching. I found the need to decompress and remove myself from all things associated with teaching was very necessary for my overall well-being. Additionally, the process of decompressing was difficult and unnatural. As an educator, my summers traditionally center on professional learning throughout to improve my abilities. Yet, this summer I found my brain could not handle any form of learning. When I would attempt to do anything related to school, my brain just shut off. This was really telling. 18 months of intense teaching and learning clearly took its toll on my ability to process and engage. My body was literally telling me to stop all that I had traditionally done throughout the summer and focus on rebuilding, restoring, and recalibrating. Continue reading Stepping Back into the School Year

Teaching the Art of Geography

curiosity to see and discover more has cultivated a zeal for travel, photography and diving. My journey is always crafted with the unfolding of a wall-sized paper map given to me by a world traveler. Oddly to some, my choice of destination is largely driven by how remote the location and how much ocean surrounds it.  I then immerse myself into learning everything I can about its people, points of interests, landscapes, culture, and history. My favorite part of the journey are the life-long memories that you return home with that get stitched into stories while sharing photos.  Continue reading Teaching the Art of Geography

Finding Peace in the Wild as Educators and Bringing the Wild to Our Students

Seeking knowledge and preparedness (my way of controlling what I could about venturing into the wild), I spent the months leading up to our tour of National Parks in the American West intently reading books and articles and watching documentaries about history, flora, fauna, and wildlife in the parks. I prepared but also braced myself for unpredictable experiences such as a grizzly bear encounter.  Continue reading Finding Peace in the Wild as Educators and Bringing the Wild to Our Students

How movements like #BlackBirdersWeek can help students see themselves as environmentalists

This past school year we focused our attention on how birding is an activity that can help city-dwellers experience urban forests as places for practicing stillness in nature, while also allowing an opportunity to appreciate urban biodiversity we may not typically notice.  Continue reading How movements like #BlackBirdersWeek can help students see themselves as environmentalists