As the weather starts to turn for the better, I often think of ways to get my classes out of the classroom. I know, I know…how cliché. You mean we’re having class…outside?!
But, I really think there is something to it! I think it helps students understand that you are not one of those teachers that clings to their room like a chubby toddler to a safety blanket. It shows them that you take chances, that you’re willing to take a leap of faith for them. After all, it isn’t the most controlled environment there is. But, if you’re willing to relinquish a bit of control, you will really start to engage them.
Even if your curriculum isn’t the most supportive of heading into the wild, you can find a way. English teacher? Write poems and stories about nature or give all your kiddos clipboards and tell them to do some peer editing. Social studies? I feel a war reenactment coming on! Math? Remember all those patterns in nature you learned about in college? Like, the Fibonacci sequence and whatnot? Science? Please. That’s an easy one.
Not only is it a nice change of pace, but this generation of students is simply not hard-wired to be in a classroom for as long as we expect them to be. They are accustomed to moving around (some are accustomed to getting everything they want, but that’s a post for a later time). Meet them halfway and throw open the classroom doors!
Just remember to count the rascals before you leave and when you get back. Leaving one out there probably wouldn’t be a good idea.