I am a Black man with an Explorer Mindset. But it wasn’t always like that.

When you enter new terrain as a Black person, you take the risk that racism will meet you there. You risk entering spaces and meeting people who believe nature only belongs to them, but it doesn’t. I remind myself that I also belong on the mountain or in the water or in the forest. I too have a right to adventure. As educators, it is so important that we help students push back against feelings that alienate them from spaces—especially public spaces. Educators can be conduits for students to embrace what they may not know about nature. Continue reading I am a Black man with an Explorer Mindset. But it wasn’t always like that.

Exploring as a School Community in the Face of Uncertainty

Louisville is the most diverse city in Kentucky and our public school system is home to 96,000 students. We are the 29th largest school district in the US. Home to 500 students Pre K-5, Hawthorne Elementary is the only full school Spanish immersion program in the Louisville area. Our students share two teachers during a school day, receiving instruction for math and science in Spanish and social studies and ELA in English. Our vision is to develop globally and culturally competent learners each day through our actions, our studies, and our school community. Embracing a school-wide Explorer Mindset in collaboration with National Geographic aligned perfectly with our vision and the path we hope to cultivate going forward. We knew our next step was to roll out the nuts and bolts, supporting educators as they set about the path of embracing the Explorer Mindset that National Geographic teaches. Continue reading Exploring as a School Community in the Face of Uncertainty

In Need of Professional Learning Worthy of an Explorer? Create Your Own.

We teach from who we are. Teaching young people to embrace an Explorer Mindset is more critical than ever before, but if we want to teach and develop the Explorer Mindset in our students, the place to begin is not with curriculum or lesson plans. It is with ourselves.  Continue reading In Need of Professional Learning Worthy of an Explorer? Create Your Own.

What can we learn from the trees?

significant value in letting nature be our educator. Whenever I would take my students outside, new questions, observations and connections would arise. This led me to be flexible in my lessons and let the students’ inquiries shape our learning. Trees have always been a subject of interest for me, so when I noticed my class sharing the same passion, I knew that I had to act on it. It was time to center ourselves around the significance of the trees and the stories they have to tell. My class and I journeyed outside most days with the sole purpose to learn and develop a deeper meaning of the natural world. Thus, we became tree detectives, seeking to answer an essential question: What can I learn from the trees? Continue reading What can we learn from the trees?