A Trip to the Creek

Dear Friends-

School was closed yesterday for Faculty Development. It is funny how different our campus feels without the kids. You realize how serene the setting is, how cozy the rooms are, how brightly colored the leaves have become, and how lucky we are to have this spot.

The staff started the day with a walk down to the creek. We stopped at the entrance to the trail, formed a single line, and gently descended into the orange red canopy of fallen leaves, being careful not to disturb the habitat of of our woodland neighbors. As we moved through the forest and down to the creek bed, our conversation became increasingly animated. The teachers began to notice and discuss possibilities for their classes: What if we used the creek’s clay deposits for art class? How far can we hike with our kids on the other side of the creek? Could we start a trail maintenance and cleanup program? What about partnering with the Department of Environmental Conservation on projects? How about a project on erosion, in which kids use fallen logs to make steps on the trail that prevent the soil from washing away?

The rest of the day worked the same way. The more we moved ourselves away from our usual workplaces and out into different spaces, the easier our conversations flowed. Our ideas were more energized, we were more able to engage in difficult and challenging topics, and we felt more bonded as a community of educators. It was strikingly obvious that changing the pace of the day, meeting in new environments, and reorganizing some of our usual ways of interacting as a group helped us tap into a wellspring of inspiration and productive communication.

It was a lovely and productive day, brought about through a simple change.

I hope you are having a wonderful autumn!

Be well,

Ben


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