Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Leave No Trace

Kim Stetser
Seven Generations Charter School
Emmaus, PA
2015 TTEC Cohort

The Trail to Every Classroom program started off with a bang! When we finished our first workshop of the Mid-Atlantic Region’s 2015 cohort, I was bursting with motivation and anticipation for this fantastic opportunity. While I loved everything we experienced in May, I was most inspired by the principles of Leave No Trace. I work at a school built on a foundation of environmental stewardship, sustainability, and mindfulness, yet we don’t follow these practices as a group. I remember listening to and participating in Marian’s presentation and being shocked at all that was missing from Seven Gen. We needed Leave No Trace, and I knew I could bring it back home.

I spent much of the time that weekend developing a plan that mirrored the structure of “The First Six Weeks of School” by Paula Denton and Roxann Kriete, which we use to direct our teaching at the beginning of each year. My plan was to introduce the seven principles of Leave No Trace across four weeks, in short 15-30 minute lessons and experiences. I thought it would be viable for busy teachers, engaging for students, and useful in building a foundation that could be built upon throughout the year. My thought was to pilot this plan with my class this year, and then offer it to the whole school next year.

So far, it is going very well. My TTEC partners from Seven Gen jumped on board and worked with me to develop the plan further. We’ve also set up our own personal service learning component by offering professional development at school to help other educators become comfortable with these principles and hopefully interesting in implementing them in their own classrooms. My students loved participating in the various Leave No Trace activities and sharing their knowledge with the whole school at an All School Morning Meeting. Now we get to apply this knowledge to the trail!

Excited for the AT!

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North Carolina NCCAT participants

North Carolina NCCAT participants
At the Wayah Bald Fire Tower

Mary Jane

Mary Jane
On top of Silers Bald