I don't know where to begin!
This week has been so busy - coming home from an amazing vacation (more about that in a bit), starting a new job, and settling back into the rhythms of Toronto and home, especially after the recent civil turmoil around the G20 summit and protests - and still struggling with the reality of what's happening in the Gulf...
Everything is contributing to me FREAKING OUT about education - which feels pretty good, actually. Anyway - it's a lot to tackle all at once in one little blog post. I'll break it down a bit to the immediate - that oughta help my roiling thoughts.
So - first things first - we went on an amazing vacation to Vermont and down to Cape Cod to visit my grandmother and aunt, and back again. Vermont...ohhhh I can't say enough amazing things about you...how I love you! especially since we got to stay at this wonderful place - Shelburne Farms. This place is ridonkulous in the most amazing ways. It used to be a wealthy family's estate, but has become an incredible education centre, working organic farm, heritage and conservation site and all around amazing place that focuses on "cultivating a conservation ethic". Explore their website to get a glimpse, but GO GO GO GO GO to get a taste of how actually awesome this place really is.
We were wandering around inside the castle-like barn (no kidding, look at the photo, that's the BARN), and I kept wishing we could run into an educator, when that's exactly what happened!! We met the incredibly kind, welcoming and generous Sarah Kadden, an educator at Shelburne Farms also involved in the Sustainable Schools Project. Sarah gave us a tour of the facility and we talked and talked and talked, and I left in a daze of magic and wonderment, after wandering across the courtyard of the castle, I mean barn, to the Children's Farmyard to gawp at their amazing teaching spaces and pet some sheep, goats and calves, and where you could play fun games like in the following photo
It was really great. I feel really lucky that we got to go there, and really grateful for meeting Sarah, who I'll stay in touch with and who's work is so inspiring! AWESOMENESS! Am busy now reading about their very well thought out curricula on teaching the basic ideas of sustainability to kids of all ages, and am beside myself with excitement at the potential it has. I feel like I'm having a mega paradigm shift, and am holding tools in my hands to help kids explore ideas and subjects I hold really dear - community, nature, food, conservation, ecology, justice...it's a real long list, folks.
Then we went to Cape Cod and had a really great time with my Nana and Aunt Pam, who trek from Austin to the Cape every summer. It was so restful and wonderful and we had a ball.
Coming home just in time to witness police brutality and the government spending excessive amounts of money on needless things to impress, and get ready for my stint as counselor and outdoor coordinator at Holland Bloorview Kid's Rehabilitation Hospital's summer camp, at the Play and Learn site. I'm working with a bunch of awesome educators I worked with at my placement this year, and some other fantastic folks. We had one day of HR intake and two days of training and prep, and now Canada Day has descended upon us, long weekend HO! The kids come on Monday, I'm working in the kinder-aged kids classroom, with Allison who teaches kindergarten at Play and Learn during the school year, and Tatiana with whom I worked at High Park! That's when I'm not outside coordinating art, science and nature shenanigans in the elegant and potential filled playground, and I AM EXCITED. It'll be great to work with young kids again - after Nunavik I need some little kids energy. Am psyched to try out some of the ideas from Shelburne Farms and Sarah and the Sustainable Schools Project stuff I've been reading.
More photos and news and enthusiasm to come - summer AHOY!
get ready for summer - NERD OUT!