Since learning that I will be teaching science next year, I have agreed to partner with Liz to teach science concepts through gardening. In addition, we have found partners in Kenya, the Dominican Republic, Maine, New Hampshire, Luxembourg, and Nepal for a global garden project next year that will have each group of students sharing their learning through gardening with the others. As a teacher who believes that learning through service projects should be the backbone of what we do in school, I am very excited about the possibilities for this project.
Next to our school is a small building owned by our local Fair Association. For most of the year it is rented out by the Devereux Foundation as an adult day care center for individuals with disabilities.
As part of the garden project, Liz had contacted the directors of the program and asked if we could put a small garden behind their building so that those in the program could help with the gardening. Today, I went with her and a group of 5th grade students to help plant a few tomato plants in that garden.
Soon, the men and women from the Devereux were taking turns watering and chatting with our students. both groups were sharing their knowledge of gardening with each other, introducing themselves, and having a great time. It was such a wonderful experience for everyone. As I walked back to the school with the kids I could hear them telling each other how happy they were to be a part of building this garden and collaboration.
Over the next few years, our students are going to learn a lot of math, science, language arts, and other content through gardening. And, that's wonderful.
But, they are also going to learn a whole lot more about topics that are a whole lot more important.
This is what school should be.