Tuesday, October 30, 2007


So far we have been learning about the natural history and curriculum at IslandWood. Our grads come from all over the US, so it was important to learn about the native and invasive species that live on or near IslandWood and also in the area, the greater Pacific Northwest. It was our time to find our place here, get familiar with our IslandWood community and the surrounding area. We spent over a month training and preparing to be out in the field with children in grades 4th through 6th, working on our lessons and techniques of sharing Science and the natural world. The schools that come here vary from private to public as do their experiences, background and culture. Our teaching weeks vary in challenges and experiences because of the diversity.

Our group of grads is split into two cohorts. Cohorts rotate teaching and time off. One group teaches one week while the other is off. Our off weeks allow time for a moment to explore, work, or tackle the load of assignments and readings. The weekends are filled with time to enjoy the city or the many festive gatherings that occur on campus or on the island with our IslandWood family. Imagine going to a party at your professor's house filled with food, music, libations and familiar and friendly faces! Top that off with Foosball, Ping Pong and other games, fire dancing, campfires, this group does it right on the weekends.

This week I am team teaching. The group of children Deanna and I are working with is diverse and includes special needs kids. Today we will walk down to Port Blakely Harbor and learn about the people who were on the island originally, how this area grew due to logging and how things have changed since then. Tonight we will have our night hike and trust walk. We will not use flashlights and it is an unforgettable experience. Perhaps we will hear Barred Owls or Sea Lions in the distance. This place is magical and I know the kids truly enjoy the experience they have here. So, off to breakfast..