Outdoor Education

Last week I had the opportunity to join the grade 6/7 class on their outdoor camping trip to Craven World. As an intern teacher, this experience was invaluable and taught me about the power of utilizing the space that is our environment. The students were able to practice practical skills such as making a fire, canoeing, and using their surroundings to navigate. As well, students had the chance to examine organisms living in ponds that exist right outside our classroom. I think educators tend to forget that learning can take place in a variety of forms. Not only were these students interacting with their environment, but they were also learning through hands on experiences. What I noticed is that the informal learning that takes place on these outdoor education trips is just as valuable. Students had to learn to work in groups to set up their tents, they took responsibility of cleaning up after breakfast, lunch, and supper, and they disconnected from the technological world that is the reality of the twenty first century. I think back to how engaged the students were at St. Nicholas church, how curious they were about the animal tracks on our nature hike, and how much fun they had playing outside at night. As an intern, I appreciated seeing these students work in a different element that is not their classroom. If I took nothing else away from this experience, I want to remind myself the importance of surrounding my students with resources for learning that exist right outside our classroom doors.

St. Nick Canoe Animal Tracks