Thursday, November 11, 2010

Non Teaching Weeks (AKA No Kids but just as busy weeks)


As Roxann mentioned in our last post, my task this week is to give you a little insight into what happens when we aren't teaching. By now, I am sure you have reread our first couple of entries (and maybe even glanced further back and read about the adventures of last year's cohort) and know the intimate details of our operation BUT I am going to sum it up for you anyways.

Our class is divided into two cohorts. When your cohort is teaching SOP, you are pretty much booked solid for the entire week.

When you are not teaching, you have a more flexible schedule but are know...busy.

The Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays of our non-teaching weeks are intentionally left open so we have the opportunity to visit our Liaison Schools.  We are each assigned 2-3 schools in the region to build a relationship with before and after their visit.  The goal is to connect the adventures here to things back home.

Last week was one of my non-teaching weeks and I visited Eagle Rock Multi-Age School in Duvall, WA.  I got to take the Frog Car (the IslandWood Car that gets quite a few double takes because of the large animal decals plastered all over it) and meet the students who will be coming to IslandWood in the Spring.

Guess why we call this the "Frog Car."

I introduced them to some of the IslandWood lingo (Banana, Banana, Banana! Slug, Slug, Slug!) and we completed an Ecosystem Mural. It gave me a chance to see the students in their "natural habitat" and gave them a chance to learn a little more about this place.

Ecosystem Mural (Please note the Zebra that is definitely native to the Puget Sound Region)

School visits can take the form of lessons, games, experiments or information sessions where students can get those nagging questions off of their chests ("What if a bear chases us?" "Don't worry," says the liaison in a reassuring voice, "Bears only like 7th graders."*)

Other things that take up our time in our non-teaching weeks are working a variety of jobs around campus, contacting the outside world and, you know, studying.

Blake learns!
We have class every Thursday night and all day Friday so it is a common sight to see Grad students attempting to read at any and all times (laundry, dinner, jogging, etc.)

Currently, we are taking courses on Child Development, the History of Environmental Education and Science Methods.  In my humble opinion, one of the coolest things about this program is the ability to learn about concepts in class and apply them directly to instruction the following teaching week. There is a super supportive Education Team that is always there to assist and encourage us.

We are currently in the middle of a mid-quarter professional development week.  There are no students here so both cohorts have been reunited for the entire week (and it feels so good).  We have been attending workshops on learning styles, planning techniques, curriculum mapping and so much more.

We are quickly learning that things are very much "go go go" in this program but, luckily, we wouldn't want it any other way.

It isn't all work and no play, however. Roxann will tell you a little more about the fun we have together in her next post.

Keep your chins up and smiles on your faces!

Until next time,


P.S. Keep your eye out for our "Get to know a Grad" feature that should be making it's debut pretty soon!

*Just kidding- there are no bears at IslandWood. Please don't start that rumor.


Amanda Z said...

Seriously, our Ed Staff is THE BEST (shout out to Christen for organizing this week's diving-for-sea-critters adventure).

Can't wait to read the next post, ladies! I wonder which of our fun times you'll blog about, hmmmm.

A complete entry on Love is a Battlefield?

Hillary said...

Get to know a grad? I'm intrigued...