I attended the workshop, Bluebirds in the Classroom, at Duke Farms this past weekend, and I was struck by the passion the presenters at Dukes had for the environment. Their mission is to be a model of environmental stewardship and to educate the public on ways they, too, can be stewards of the earth. It was a joy listening to them talk and then go out into the meadow behind the barn to find the bluebird boxes and look inside, discover the different areas that bluebirds need for habitat, and look through binoculars at birds we found in the area. We each had binoculars to use, and we had a short tutorial on how to use them. I did not see a bluebird, but the other group did. We played bluebird games outside and in and even got exercise as we walked around the meadow. When we got back inside, we were welcomed by warm drinks and food that included a fabulous vegetarian chili. Everyone got two bluebird boxes to put on the school grounds.
We teach, and no matter who or where we teach, we should bring that same level of passion into our classrooms. Shouldn’t we all believe in the children and honor the ways that they learn? The Duke Farms staff built up our background, gave us time to practice, and sent us on our way with tools to attract bluebirds in our own schools. Aren’t we in the business of providing tools for children to become lifelong learners who must discover their own passions and live them? So let the children see the passion you carry for them and their ability to learn in many, many ways.
Have you been to Duke Farms yet? Go on its website at www.dukefarms.org to find out about all that it offers. Even better, the eagles are sitting on 2 eggs and you can watch them through the eagle cam in your own classroom. Even better than that, come and visit – it is free!