In the Beginning...

My Hopes for the From Learning to Research Project and Summer Institute Opportunity

                Like any other teacher, my most altruistic goal is to participate in a professional development activity that will motivate, educate, and stimulate me into developing a learning activity that will encourage my students to become productive, lifelong learners.  I am blessed to teach on a campus rich in nature, only 2miles from Merchant’s Millpond State Park and 20 miles from the Great Dismal Swamp. With our community being so rural, I often worry that students won’t get a chance to see the wide variety of careers that are available to them in the world. Since scientists are able to work anywhere, I feel it is important to show these students that many careers can be useful right in our backyard.

                It is my hope that the knowledge I gain as a participant in the L2R project will enable me to develop a sustainable, meaningful research project using our campus and local area to teach students about the world around them and how to use their knowledge to improve the world in which we live. My goal is to be able to engage my students in discovering ways to monitor, repair, and improve our community’s lands and resources. To do this, I need to know how to plan effectively for facilitating learning projects that do not necessarily lead to a single right or wrong answer. I must learn how to engage the students in place based learning without neglecting the required national and state standards. Through my GLOBE classes, I realized that the change in climate has had a significant impact in our particular area. It is something that students will be able to see and begin to think about. Climate is something that is taught in both of the grade levels I teach, so I can begin a program in one grade that continues to another.

                My greatest worries as I begin this endeavor are that I will fail to engage the kids and I will have not managed to prepare them adequately for their assessments. I suppose this is the same set of worries that others have and I hope that as I begin this journey, I can count on my L2R colleagues to help me through this fear.