[Originally Published 08.07.2013]
That last morning in Colorado was a somber one. My friends and I were gathered around the breakfast table. In silence. Then Renee broke the silence pointing out that we were having a “chicken shawarma” moment à la The Avengers
So we didn’t just finish saving the world, but we did share an amazing experience at Key Issues Institute that would soon be coming to a close. In a few minutes, we’d be boarding the bus to Denver International Airport. It was virtually silent on the 90 minute bus ride, as well.
So, what made this week so amazing? It was just a teachers’ professional development conference, right?
No. It was much more.
At Key Issues Institute, we were given the tools, strategies, and confidence to teach an Environmental Issues unit. It’s an interdisciplinary curriculum so you don’t need to be science teacher to implement it. Our skilled facilitators modeled the lessons in a fun and dynamic way.
A Beautiful Setting
What better place to discuss environmental issues than Summit County, CO? I am thankful that Key Issues gave us opportunities to interact with our environment during sessions and field trips but also allowed unto have time outside of sessions to explore the surrounding area. We even had facilitator-led hikes early in the morning.
Professional Networking and Personal Connections
In the short time I was in Colorado I made quite a few professional connections with other teachers. There were other Science Olympiad coaches in attendance so we’ve made arrangement to correspond and collaborate throughout the school year.
In addition to adding to my professional network, I started relationships with new friends that I will be keeping in touch with both professionally and personally. I really I felt like I bonded with some people and I look forward to our friendship developing further regardless of geographic distance.
Once again, I would like to thank Keystone Science School for putting together such a wonderful program for educators. I would also like to express my gratitude to Alcoa Foundation for sponsoring me and making my trip possible. I look forward to our continued partnership at my local school site and community.