I have been in a happy flurry of receiving submissions for the upcoming Green Teacher SPECIAL ISSUE ON PLACE-BASED EDUCATION! I have been reading heartwarming narratives of teacher wisdom, great ideas for what and how students can learn in the places nearby — and far afield from — our schools and what inspires teachers to get outside of the classroom to make learning happen.
This special issue — slated to be published in the summer of 2016 — will focus mostly on what it is like for teachers to teach outside of the classroom. From a variety of perspectives it will explore what learning opportunities lurk in the different environments that await us if we go looking. A barn? A water pipe? A stream bed? A wind turbine? How do teachers manage these more engaging investigations when so much pressures them to…stay in their desks, stay inside and prepare for the big tests! What sustains teachers to get outside despite all the odds?
What are the challenges?
What are the rewards?
What do your students experience?
What tales do you have to tell that will inspire others?
It is a heady challenge to be a guest editor for Green Teacher magazine. Their style is so unique; their vision so true. I have been a faithful reader for years and have always been so impressed with the breadth of what they offer teachers. And their offerings are always on-the-ground accessible to teachers. It reflects research yet is not researchy in tone. It is on the cutting edge of educational practice yet it doesn’t ever sound preachy or self-satisfied. It always seems immensely practical for educators in many different settings.
Teachers have many stories to tell—and the telling of them helps us all do our job better. I find that the good stories are the ones where I can hear the writer invite me in. There is a hidden voice of friendly confidence and optimism: “you can do this. Just try it! It will reward you in ways you cannot imagine!”
Teachers all over the world are telling their stories. If you have something to share about your experience of learning outside of the classroom with your students, consider writing an article for this issue. Deadlines for proposal is August 1 but that can be extended if you contact me soon (firstname.lastname@example.org)!