Monday, June 17, 2013
Post by Kristy Duris, Profile School in Bethlehem, NH
Now, my mind only has more questions as I am exposed to the history, creation, culture, etc. of the Trail. I want to learn more for my own personal knowledge as well as to use in the classroom. From the first session and meeting other people in the program, it seems that other teachers are in a similar place. This wanting of knowledge about the A.T. has definitely connected all of us and through our sharing, we have already had fun learning about soil, Mount Washington weather trends, and previous participants’ successes. The first weekend was inspiring and motivating, and only increased my curiosity about how I can use this program for teaching.
I am in a transition in my teaching, using more experiential education in my classroom. This past year I co-taught a class called Project Venture for eighth grade. During this pilot year, the students were exposed to service learning (building bridges and trail maintenance for town trails, creating a “pump” track for the community) and the natural world (hiking, having class outside when possible) on a regular basis. I still can’t believe how successful it was and how students were excited, motivated and willing to work. My hopes are to build on this program, utilizing the A.T. regularly as both a service learning opportunity as well as a natural world experience. I am also looking forward to including a few “dirty” lessons on soil and incorporating the Leave No Trace principles out on the trail!