Earlham College MAT student
My Journey to Teaching
Current Musings on the Texts
"... in lecture halls, seminar rooms, field settings, and even electronic classrooms - the places where most people receive most of their formal education - teachers possess the power to create conditions that can help students learn a great deal - or keep them from learning much at all. Teaching is the intentional act of creating those conditions, and good teaching requires that we understand the inner sources of both the intent and the act." (Palmer, 2007, pg. 7)
This quote really stuck out to me in The Courage to Teach because it draws attention to the intentionality involved in teaching. One of the most impactful experiences of my life was participating in August Wilderness, an orientation program at Earlham where I lived in community with other students, student leaders, and professors for 26 days of backpacking and academic coursework in Utah. As a participant my first year and later a leader of the trip, I was struck by how the experience was made especially meaningful because of its strong intentionality in community and personal growth. The program was set up with common principles and group intentions, mentorship, and opportunities for creative academic and skills-based projects. As a student, I was supported in my transition into college as the instructors asked provocative questions and guided me in exploring my past, present, and future. I left with a stronger sense of self and community. In Outdoor Ed., it is often easy to see the intentionality in creating conditions for growth and learning -- now, how might I bring that intentionality into a classroom?