Getting Our Students Outside
Submitted by Duane Shreve on Thu, 2017-07-13 00:00
This has been a topic we I have discussed with several of my colleagues this week. We have all seen our students becoming more entrenched with their X-Box 360 and assorted video games rather than spending time playing outside. I feel this is a mind set that starts at home. If a familiy isn't inclined to be active outdoors then the students won't feel the need to be outside. We as teachers can only do so much to convince our students that there is far more to gain by being outside than being stuck to a couch playing video games, but this doesn't mean we shouldn't try.
We are quite a diverse group, age wise, this week and I am pleased to see several second year teachers in the group. I feel they will have a lot of impact on their students during their careers and since they are here they must feel a connection to our natural environmnet. They can transfer this connection to their students through lessons and general comments during the school year. Of course, even older teachers, such as myself, can do this, but having connection to the outside coming from a younger teacher can have a larger impact.
We discussed the importance of the level of impact of the lesson being taught. Does every lesson have to deal with issues that are sensational and riveting? Global warming for instance has had a lot of press over the last several years. The general concesus is that any lesson dealing with our environment is important. The key to this isn't the level of impact but how the kids can relate to the lesson. Something as simple as the school garden at Roosevelt Elementary can stay with a student for years. Teachers too for that matter.
My question for you: Working with students with diverse academic backgrounds can be challenging, as we all know, but what about creating an environmental lesson for a group of students that never visit the "outdoors?" Where would you start and what would lesson be directed toward?