I must say, it is good to be home! I truly enjoyed our trip to New England, but being away from my family for that long was tough! (I know many of us felt the same!) Since I’ve been back it has been one activity after another; running kids to dance, softball, swimming and of course stressing about my house not being done and living with my mother-in-law! All that aside, I have had the opportunity to begin to think about how will I take the knowledge I gained from this trip and put it to use.
One of the most important lessons that I learned on this trip was the value of “doing.” When we were at the Old Sturbridge Village and we made dinner and did the other activities, I was authentically engaged. Our school district’s mission statement speaks of engaging students to help them learn at a higher level. What I hope to take back to the classroom from this experience is ways to engage my students. I believe that I do engage them but I know I can do a better job on a daily basis. One way to do this is by using primary source documents and artifacts.
I was part of the DBQ cohort and I believe that is going to help me as well. Using the primary sources from something like the DBQ along with artifacts that relate to the topic is one strategy I want to utilize in my classroom. We participated in an activity similar to this at the Paul Revere House. I found this to be an engaging way to think about history. This is what I want my students to feel about my lessons; excited and inquisitive about the past.
I wish Wyoming were closer to where the colonial action was because I would take my students on a field trip. There really isn’t anything like experiencing history. Walking the Freedom Trail, standing on the Lexington Green, interacting with Pilgrims, touching John and Abigail Adams’ letters; these are experiences I will never forget, but not experiences I can give to my students. (But I can share my pictures and incorporate my new knowledge into the classroom).
I look forward to the week in Cheyenne learning how to use technology in the classroom. This is one particular item of interest to me; it is a way to bring history alive without actually setting foot on the actual spot. We gained so many valuable resources from our trip that it will be great to learn ways to put them to good use.
I was asked by a friend and fellow teacher what my favorite part of the trip was and I couldn’t answer him. I enjoyed all of it. Thank you for the wonderful opportunity!!!