We love being part of your year… but we know that it’s not feasible for a class to come over and over. We know there are barriers to coming here both within your school, and built in to our application process (Sorry! We try to give new applicants, and applicants who bring new teachers a chance, just because we’re over subscribed, not because we don’t love you! We do!! We adore teachers who see such value here that they want to come back!!)
So I wanted to share what it looked like when one teacher, dismayed that they couldn’t come, decided to “go it alone”
- firstly, they weren’t alone. We’re happy to help support teachers who want to emulate an Open Minds experience without a week at a site. This can look different depending on your needs. Unfortunately we can’t offer financial help, but we’re happy to point you to resources, and walk with you if you come across challenges.
- journals were still a hue part of the year. As if this teacher was planning for a week at a site, they made journaling a huge part of their year. Using the Journey into Journalling resource, they took time to explore techniques and returned to ones that were successful for their students. They looked closely at objects and art, as jump off points into new units, ideas, and concepts.
- they spent time in new places. They used what was available to them in new ways, field trips became field studies, and any time off school grounds was something to explore with journals, (even trips to the pool! This teacher had students journal before and after the swim… picking up on emotional experiences, concepts of buoyancy, and uses of energy). They also explored places in their school that are less used for study. (How exciting is it for students to go into places they’re not normally allowed… even if it’s just the gym equipment room!)
- the engaged community. This teacher brought in experts that were within their sphere of connection, either physically, or through Skype. Students planned for these visits by examining what they knew about this person or their expertise, and what they wondered, then generated questions.
- finally, they came back! We love seeing teachers re-apply after a few years trying Open Minds concepts on their own, because we know that we’ll learn from you as much as you’ll learn in this place!
Best of luck with your year without us! We’ll miss you, but we can’t wait to hear what happens for you next, so apply again soon!!