Collaboration, Sabbatical

Behind-the-Scenes: The Unseen Action

craftsMany of my friends who are not teachers often don’t know how to approach the “how is work going” conversation.  They have no clue what elementary teachers do for the most part, just as I have no idea what many of my friends actually do all day.  Assumptions abound, however, regarding the responsibilities of elementary educators – such as the presumption that we are continuously preparing arts and crafts projects.  And my favorite conversation go-to: “You have a vacation coming up, right?”  Right…

There are NUMEROUS behind-the-scene responsibilities of teachers many are not aware of, and I am hoping some big-wig director decides to create a documentary on the day in the life of a teacher someday to inform the unaware.  Until that day, friends, you’ll just have to believe me – professional educators do A LOT more than you might think.

Now on to the objective of this post – to share with you some of the behind-the-scenes aspects of my project that are currently happening:

  • Illustrator Adam Kelley is currently working on the cover page of the rocky shore ecosystem curriculum (the first draft is the featured image of this blog post).
  • Kirsty Walker, president of Hobblebush Design is currently working on formatting the curriculum.
  • Mark Wiley, Assistant Director of Marine Education at UNH is reviewing and revising the curriculum.
  • Kate Leavitt, Director of Mission Initiatives at the Seacoast Science Center and the education team at the SSC is reviewing and revising the curriculum.
  • Corrine Steever, Teacher Services Supervisor at the New England Aquarium is reviewing and revising the curriculum.
  • Pam Castor and Wendy Corbyn, elementary educators from KRES at Bradford, are going to be reviewing and providing feedback on the curriculum.
  • Plymouth State University – I am meeting with student teachers for the third time next week to assist them with science planning and instruction.
  • Keene State College – currently in discussions of how I can assist their student teachers.
  • Franklin Pierce College – currently in discussions of how I can assist their student teachers.
  • New England College – currently preparing a 2017 summer institute course.
  • Hillsboro-Deering School District – in a couple of weeks we are meeting to discuss how I might assist their educators and students.
  • Hopkinton School District – currently in discussions of how I can assist their educators and students.
  • Last but not least…I’m currently working on my twelfth lesson out of twenty-five lessons for the rocky shore ecosystem curriculum I am developing for New Hampshire educators and beyond.

That’s what is currently going on behind-the-scenes with my project, in a “seashell.”

“The Rocky Seashore” by my son, Gabe
Collaboration, Curriculum

New England Aquarium Collaboration

Corrine Steever, NEAQ Teacher Services Supervisor

I have had the opportunity to visit the New England Aquarium several times.  None were anything like the experience I had yesterday, however.  Yesterday I had the pleasure of not only being an observer of a fantastic organization but a collaborator, as I met with Corrine Steever, Teacher Services Supervisor at the New England Aquarium.

Corrine has supported my project to advance science education at the elementary level, as well as my efforts to create a free rocky shore ecosystem for curriculum available for teachers and students.  Her assistance for the past two years in advocating for my sabbatical application was extremely appreciated and needed.

NEAQ’s Teacher Resource Center Staff

In our meeting Corrine agreed to help with revising and editing the rocky shore curriculum.  She also provided me with a lot of helpful ideas of how to proceed with organizing the curriculum for educators.  The New England Aquarium’s teacher resource center will also be a valuable resource – just as it has been to numerous educators and students for several years.

At the end of Corrine’s letter of support for my sabbatical application process, she stated “Any professional development that will help raise teacher and student knowledge about the Oceans benefits all by allowing a deeper understanding of how to protect the planet.”  And this is perhaps the most important aspect of this project – education that will improve the health of our planet.  The New England Aquarium will certainly prove to be an invaluable collaborator for this endeavor.