Each of this project’s topics and research tasks are very much in draft form because none have been used in my classroom yet. My Fulbright project formally ended July 31, 2019, therefore the next couple of years will entail developing systems in which to carry out student research, build professional audiences, and partner with organizations to get kids outside. This project has four main objectives:
- Get students outside to develop a connection with their local environment so that they become future stewards and sustainability advocates.
- Give students the language to connect with the global community.
- Emphasize mathematical questions and practice standards so students can produce unique research.
- Restore my love of adventure, math, history, and teaching.
I think this last point is very important because educators are often pressured into putting the needs of their students before their own. Unfortunately, being a victim of this myself, I can say this leads to burnout. I am grateful to the mentors and role models in my life that have embraced the life of explorer-educator, recognizing that some years they need to change the part of that title they emphasize, thus allowing them to see teaching as a long-term career path. With this in mind, I have created the following next steps:
- Begin the work of classroom implementation to create a proof of concept.
- Finding contacts at the Green Mountain National Forest, White Mountain National Forest, and Acadia National Park.
- Explore local wilderness areas by foot, bike, and ski, while employing different navigational skills/technologies to connect student math research with field experiences.
- Present at a 2020 Regional/National NCTM Conference.
- Use my Colombia and NZ contacts to find “research partner classrooms” for international collaborations among students.
- Work on a National Geographic grant to fund personal and classroom explorations (explorer-educator).
I am incredibly grateful to the US Department of State, IIE, and Fulbright NZ for this opportunity to study and re-inspire my love of teaching. If you are interested in my final PowerPoint presentation, you can find it here. If you have any questions, comments, or just want to connect, please use the contact form on the About Me page.