Thursday, September 12, 2013

Well Worth It

We went for a walk this morning. The whole class kept fingers crossed, carried jackets and umbrellas and braved possible showers to visit the local museum. We could have easily stayed in the class and talked about artefacts, even examined a few that are coming in for our mini-museum but that would not have come close to the experiences we shared together today.

As 29 children and three teachers strolled along town streets, past the oldest documented residence in the province, past the harbour, past the dead bird, we had a very different opportunity to get to know each other than would occur in the classroom.

"Miss, that's my pop's boat!"
"Miss, did you ever go jigging?"
"Miss, that building is haunted...isn't it?"
"Miss, that's where my dad used to work."

Image from here

Discussing sheep's wool and old-fashioned skates, "pee" pots and bed-warmers, WW1 gas masks and rusty cannonballs provided so much more than 'teachable moments" or connections to the curriculum to be studied later. It gave us a chance to share our enthusiasm for learning, to be truly curious with the kids and to be just as impressed as they were about the stories embedded in this artefacts from the past. 

Watching them scour the museum for items on the scavenger hunt, listening to them ask questions of the interpreters, noting who was curious enough to ignore the "Do not touch" signs, seeing partners pull each other to the next must-see ... also gave us a little more insight into the very different learners we have this year.  

Image from here

Eating snacks together on the boardwalk next to the ocean on this warm fall day (Yup, crossing your fingers works!) before heading back also added to the day in unplanned ways.

Added time to ask more questions, to joke, to notice our surroundings.

"Miss, did you see the stuff dentists used to use back in the old days?"
"Miss, do you like cinnamon buns?"
"Miss, look at that dead fish stuck down between the rocks!"

Added time for the building of the relationships amongst each other and with us, their teachers, that will be so important in this new classroom community to which we now belong!

I would have walked in the rain for that!


  1. Taking the time for and appreciating an experience like this with students is definitely worth it, as you say. I enjoyed the walk with you. The harbour is so beautiful and the questions - so intriguing. Now I need to find out what jigging is!

  2. Establishing those relationships with our students is what it's really about...much of the content will be forgotten but how we foster curiosity, the willingness to ask and the ability to get along with others (among so many other less-tangibles) will last much longer!
    As for jigging, that's the way the people of this province have caught fish for generations, though modern methods and larger boats enabled much larger quantities to taken. This post may add to my explanation -!

    Enjoying your blog!