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Weekly Challenge for #EnviroEd # 40 – No Long Hibernation this Summer as a Teacher

June 22, 2014


I have a wish …

This week coming is the last week of school in my area. This means this is our last Weekly Challenge for #EnviroEd and that means it is a time to summarize and reflect a bit at the year that has passed.

Having said that I do not believe it is a wrap. It’s not the end – in fact just as the seasons end and turn into another season – so does our roles.

Each Challenge this year has been purposely simple in nature. We wanted something that could be done whether you were in the Bronx, or at a school more than an hour from the nearest paved road. We wanted something that could be done with kindergarten or with high school students.

Maybe the week did not work for all – but more than once I was told that although folks may not be able to participate that week – they’d try it at another time. The idea behind the Challenges was to show that environmental education can be done no matter where you are and that they is the most amazing Personal Learning Network (PLN) there to support you. In this way I think the challenges were a success.

And that leads us into another milestone. This coming Wednesday, June 25, 2014 will be the first birthday of the #EnviroEd chats from 9-10 pm EST each week on Twitter. When Paul Kelba, Sarah Lowes and myself first discussed the concept I am uncertain any of us saw it as a foundation to something beyond discussing environmental education with like minded people.

As anyone who reads this blog or takes part in our weekly chats knows – it has become so much more. In biological terms a Community is an area where everything depends upon everything else. Our online PLN is exactly that.

And I do not wish to lose this momentum. I think one of the things that makes the #EnviroEd PLN unique is that it is more than just an hour each Wednesday night.

Some animals may hibernate or migrate in the winter months and I fully understand the need for educators to do either of these as well this summer. But this is also our opportunity to evolve ourselves.

This summer #EnviroEd will continue to run, bi-weekly. In July that means the 9th and the 23rd. In August, the 6th, and 20th before we go back to weekly chats on Sept 3rd.

So, it is time to look back on this year’s successes in environmental education. Have a look at those graduating slide shows or yearbooks and make note of the fact that the largest smiles and greatest memories tend not to be of tests or sitting in desks.

This summer your Challenge is to continue to develop your environmental education prowess. Take a course, learn from others, read a book and share it with others.

As such, I am throwing our my own plans for this Challenge to have my #EnviroEd PLN help keep me true.

1. I will be taking a workshop on developing my skills as an outdoor educator in the realm of inquiry based education practices this will be in early July.

2. I will be getting together with 4-6 classroom teachers one at a time over the summer to discuss how they use environmental education in the classroom and will be sharing it through our PLN. To help entice them into the discussions I’m inviting them to come canoeing for an hour with me.

3. I plan on reading Moving the Classroom Outdoors: Schoolyard-Enhanced Learning in Action by Herbert W Broda.


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