“All education is environmental education” if I am going to take anything away from this past semester, I am proud to say that it is that very important quote from David Orr. I am so grateful that I was able to experience this class post internship because of the constant process of reflection that we underwent. I was continuously looking back on my teaching experience and thinking of ways that I could have been a better environmental educator. For me it was tremendously important to be thinking about my experiences and reflecting on my life as both a teacher and a human being while I was filming the video. Originally I was going to film a skateboarding video and talk about my reflection over top of that but I changed my mind. Skateboarding is an interest of mine right now but when I was younger my bicycle was my best friend. I use to rid my bike everywhere. As soon as the snow started to melt I would get my dad to take down my bike so I could go cubbing. I think that by riding a bike instead of my skateboard I was immediately in a better state of mind to think about the environment. Riding my bike also allowed me to practice Friluftsliv, a concept I am rapidly learning to love. One of the things that I thought about while riding my bike was how I received very little environmental education as a child. Most years we would go on one field trip, and then on earth day the entire school would go out into the neighbourhood and pick up trash. That is essentially the exhaustive history of my former environmental education. Now that I have taken this class I have certainly learned the importance of getting a class outside and helping them form a love for the environment. I learned that children will not want to help the environment unless they first learn to love it. As someone in the elementary program of education I think this is an incredibly important concept. I cannot force my students to try and save the environment. Instead it is my responsibility to give students the love of nature and their environment that they can use in the future to be a part of the change. Another thing I am learning to love is practicing stillness. I did it twice while filming this video once at the beginning and then again at the end. The first time I did it for about two minutes and then at the end I practiced stillness for about 5 minutes. I really enjoy practicing stillness because there is always so much to look at and think about in nature. At the end of the video I took off my shoes and stared out at the lake watching the ducks but then I looked down at the water just under my feet and realized how amazing nature is. There was so many tiny bugs and other creatures that we often do not think about when we talk about the environment. It made think about the day that we all posted photos of environmental education and I posted a photo that had a elephant a gorilla and some other “mainstream” animals on it. These are often the animals that we think about first when it comes to nature but there are so many other tiny creatures out there that are just as impressive and important.

Inquiry Learning

Personally I love the idea of student led inquiry. What I don’t love is planning for it. Inquiry is considerably more difficult to plan for than your standard lesson. Adding in the element of a group makes it even harder to create a unit plan that scaffolds from one lesson to the next (although I am glad this was a group unit because it meant considerably less planning). It was very clutch that I was in a group with Eylish because we are very like minded and we also both have experience in a classroom this allowed us to lead our group to a successful unit. I think that our unit did a good job of meeting all of the criteria required for this assignment, however I do not think that it has real world teachability. This is primarily because we have five lessons that would all take more than one class period to complete focused on only one outcome. In a real classroom you are simply not budgeted enough science time to focus on only one outcome for such a long period. What I do like about the unit is that all of the lessons are teachable as a standalone lesson that a new more practical unit can be built around. If I was entering a grade four classroom tomorrow and had to teach a science lesson I would certainly reach into my back pocket and use the lesson that I contributed to our group unit.

A few words about my visual – in an attempt to switch up my medium from colouring with pencil crayons I went out and found some leafs on the ground then taped them to a piece of paper. I then spray painted the paper gold and removed the leafs. In my head the idea sounded awesome but it ended up looking pretty bad. I’m proud of myself for trying though… That has to count for something right?