Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I Want to Learn!

beaver I’m so excited! My husband has helped feed my learning habit and agreed to take the Master Naturalist course with me in the fall. Of course, this is right up his alley so there was no reason not to agree. He loves to watch the Discovery channel and learn all that real life stuff.

Our class will include “…understanding the underlying geology, specific inhabitants (birds, plants, mammals, etc.), ecology and the impacts of humans on the landscape including how we conserve our amazing natural environments” Most classes will be held outside in natural areas so there will be loads of hands on experiences. After we are done, we are expected to serve at least 30 volunteer hours in activities such as “… assisting in a nature outreach program at a park, museum, nature center or school; assisting a scientist collecting bird census data; collecting data on water quality or many others.”

I participate in trail maintenance on the hiking trails and hope to incorporate a lot of this knowledge in that. I’m hoping to mix my knowledge with my love of hiking and hope to find ways to find volunteer opportunities in this way.

I can see such a potential with sharing the information I will learn with students. I hope to visit schools and give some naturalist programs to classrooms. I’m also thinking of creating some online videos that could be used in the classroom too.

There is so much that I don’t know about nature and I’m trying to think of ways that I could learn this information if I hadn’t planned on taking this class. I don’t see this class as the end of my learning and look forward to expanding the knowledge that I get.

Since it was a beautiful weekend, my husband and I went hiking with my hiking club. We hiked up to Tamassee Knob in SC and it was a beautiful way to celebrate the beginning of spring. As we walked, we enjoyed seeing the wildflowers as they began blooming. While we were eating lunch we watched a huge fire happening across the way but we had no idea what was on fire or why. I only know it was huge because we could see huge flames and they looked huge even though we were miles away. Someone in our group did call the police to report it but they didn’t seem too concerned but at least it was reported. After lunch we bushwhacked (got off the trail) back to the car using GPS and compass which was exciting. One of the spots we walked through was an area obviously inhabited by beavers because you could see their work.

The reason I brought up my hike was that this opened up so many topics that I want to know more about. I want to know more about the wildflowers and how to identify the ones I couldn’t name. I would like to know how to read maps better so I could have seen where the wildfire was located. I would like to know how to use a GPS and a compass better. I would like to know more about beavers and other forest animals. There is so much out there I want to learn!

I wonder if this is how my students feel. I wonder if I instill this thirst for knowledge in them. I hope that the new ideas that I introduce them to make them want to learn more or branch out to similar topics. Not only do I want to learn but I want my students to want to learn! I want them to have a successful experience with learning and will do all within my power to give them this experience.

Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).

Original image: 'Happy Beaver' by: Steve

No comments: