Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Teaching Days

The primary goal of our trip to England was to teach lessons at four different schools. The first was Brandelhow Primary School. I got to co-teach in a 3rd-year classroom where we did a lesson about apples. We read a story and had kids act out the different parts and showed kids the star in the center of an apple. We also had them taste apples. We're not allowed to take pictures with the kids for obvious reasons, but I've included a few pictures of their schoolyard garden.

A picture of the school before WWII and a map of where all the bombs fell during the war.

The second school we went to was Hampton Hills Junior School. This school had one of the most extensive gardens of all of the schools we visited. There was a large, raised pond (great for kids to look into closer to their eye-level), raised beds for a vegetable garden, a teaching patio area and a chicken coop with 10 chickens. The children rotate through being "chicken monitor" during the week and they sell the eggs on Fridays to the parents to raise money for chicken feed.

A "bug hotel" and two dirt plots for students to dig around in.

We also went to another primary school, this one in a more impoverished area of London, that had an awesome school garden project to get kids outside and interested in plants.
The last school was a technical high school that helped kids find internship programs. Six kids work in the garden next to the school that serves as both a community garden and a learning space for students. We had a lesson for apple grafting to go through with them since England is beginning to grow more of their own apples.

Their garden plan.
The opportunity to teach all of these kids was incredibly beneficial to me. It makes me sad that horticulture seems to be such a dying field. Kids just don't know it's an option for them as a career and, therefore, just never consider it. But getting out to schools with my peers has really given me the opportunity to let them know that this is a cool and exciting field for them to consider.

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