This is new for me. I have never blogged, and haven't much journalled since I was in high school (and yes, that was more of an outlet for teenage angst). But I am in a new district, with a shift of educational expectations than in my previous district.
I learned in the past few weeks of many PLC sessions that writing should take place in every subject. I wholeheartedly agree with that. But way easier said than done! I taught STEM for the past six years (in my previous district) and encouraged my students to keep engineering notebooks. Some were amazing with it, keeping thoughts, drawings and ideas updated daily. But most hated it.
I never really thought much about it, other than they were lazy. But was that really the case?? So when I was listening to one of our Keynote speakers from the ENGAGE conference last week, it struck me what I was missing in my classroom: encouragement. Encouragement with the guarantee that I would not judge on grammar, spelling or punctuation, or even content. Just the fact they were trying! Encourage. Then when that trust was there, that comfort, the student may be open to encouraging better spelling or grammar....
So I decided to give it a try myself. I already knew that I wanted to have my "field notes" of my daily walks of the OLC. Observing wildlife, insects, plants, the weather. You name it, I wanted to observe and document. I wasn't sure I wanted to have it "published" online for others, because honestly, I am not the best speller or ever really grammatically correct person, let alone educator, out there. I change tenses, use punctuation wrong and really, I definetly spell wrong. (Did you notice I misspelled definitely...and I didn't fix it.) I thought that no student, especially teacher, would take the time to listen to my thoughts if I was so horrible with the English language.
But then the ENGAGE conference was so inspiring, I decided to put those worries aside.
I came to the conclusion that it is way more important that I model writing, observation and communication, rather than fear.
So here we are. I have created this blog to document my journey as the Outdoor Learning Coordinator and the many, many adventures I hope to have with our NISD students, teachers and community. Daily? Maybe. Weekly? For sure. :)
And if my blog isn't enough OutdoorAmy for you, follow me on Twitter @OutdoorAmy and be sure to like the Outdoor Learning Center on Facebook (NISD OLC) and follow @NISDOLC
Enjoy the rain today! :)