gether exploring how our own views of the world influence our students’ curiosity, sense of responsibility to others, and perceptions of personal empowerment to lead change. Because this past school year marked challenges and opportunities for growth like never before, these kinds of questions and conversations are more prominent than ever. We are embracing a school-wide Explorer’s Mindset as we reflect on the past year and plan for the horizon ahead. Continue reading Embracing a School-Wide Explorer’s Mindset is More Important Than Ever
Anyone can be an explorer and can notice interesting things about the world around them. You do not have to go somewhere far away or exotic, you just have to be curious and spend time looking. In today’s environment, a lot of people feel uncomfortable spending unstructured time outside and need help figuring out how to slow down. I worked with my teen volunteering group, the Green Teens, to explore this concept and come up with ways for parents to support their kids in spending time together outside. All of the activities that we developed together were posted on the Museum’s social media sites for parents to use. Families did not need to have access to a backyard or any sort of complicated materials. Continue reading Slow Down… Explore!
I want you to take a moment to see that every inch of what you have done this year as an educator and as a learner, as a human being, is already an act of poetry. When you have engaged in science and geography learning, espousing the Explorer Mindset through curiosity, observation and collaboration, you have been an act of poetry asking others to exchange with you and with each other their unique experiences. When you have asked them to study the history of those who came before them, to explore ancient civilizations and understand the human journey, they connect themselves to the wind and the tastes and the smells and the feeling of being in those moments, in the poetry of the bones of those who came before us. When you ask them to solve math problems and calculate the physics of how our shared planet operates, when you humanize numerical interactions, you are asking them to feel that sense of meaningful struggle and discovery and seeking out ways to understand things with universal connective tissues. Continue reading Teaching is an Act of Poetry
During a time when many of us were spending day after day in the same spaces, it felt vital to renew our appreciation of the outdoor spaces that were still accessible to us, like our own backyards. Quite literally. I leaned on the National Geographic Learning Framework as a guide to create lessons and activities that asked students to go outside and engage with the ecosystems surrounding them. I focused on fostering curious attitudes, observation skills, and knowledge of wildlife and our changing planet. Each week from March to the end of the school year, we released “Science at Home” lessons to support students exploring nature from home. The activities covered a range of topics from compost to pollinators and had options to scale up or down depending on grade level. Our lessons aimed to transform things we might encounter every day into fun activities. A dandelion in the park could now be used for an experiment on osmosis, made into a nature bracelet, or baked into a cookie. Continue reading How Planning Remote Plant-Based Lessons Made Me Into a Student Again
This post was written by 2020 Education Fellow Kim Young. I’ve never experienced anything like this. Disruptions in teaching are frequent, both big and small. Every day we come to school with a plan but often something totally different happens. As we find out where our students, community, and administrators are at, we adjust our plan throughout the day. But in my 16 years of … Continue reading Teaching in a Time of Crisis: Connection, Community, and Curiosity at a Distance