Monday, 20 June 2016

Day 11: CFE (June 20, 2016) Final Week & Workshop Prep

It’s hard to believe we are in our last week of our Community Field Experience at the Orchard Garden. We spent the last 2 weeks collaborating and sharing ideas on how to implement garden-based lessons into our classrooms. School gardens are a fairly new epidemic and only surfaced in the last 10 years. I feel school gardens and outdoor education benefit students of all ages and backgrounds. In addition, a garden or outdoor space can provide endless connections across subjects and grades. I’ve learned a great deal from my peers and facilitators and look forward to sharing my knowledge with my future students.

Summer Solstice Celebration Preparation
Today, my group spent our time working to prepare for the Summer Solstice workshop on Thursday, June 23. The Summer Solstice celebration occurs every year at the Orchard Garden where everyone is welcome to attend. This event provides faculty members, administration, teachers and students with the opportunity to visit the garden. As a group, we are planning the event to showcase the beauty of the garden and showcase our learning from the past 2 weeks. We have 3 hands-on activities planned for visitors. Participants will have the opportunity to create land art, herb bouquets, and a dream scribe. In addition, we will have a variety of refreshments and snacks available. We look forward to seeing everyone at the Summer Solstice Celebration on Thursday!  


Saturday Senses in the Garden Workshop Preparation
My group finalized our outline of timing and activities for our Senses in the Garden workshop. We contacted Susan in advance to ensure we have access to space, appliance, and material on Saturday. We delegated tasks and made sure everyone has equal share of input and responsibilities in terms of preparation and facilitating activities. We think it is important to recognize each of our senses in a technology-filled world like today. Therefore, we wanted to give all participants a mindful time to pause and indulge in the garden with their five senses. We have planned five activities allowing participants to engage with sense of sight, touch, hear, taste and smell.

It has been an amazing past few weeks learning from the Orchard Garden affiliations, Susan, John, Tonia, Diana, Kwesi, Joyce, Brendan, and our fellow colleagues. We have learned so many different ways to facilitate land-based learning with our local surrounding. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to meet and learn from such an amazing group of people. This journey at Orchard garden have raised my awareness not only on personal level but also a professional level of being present, taking care of our well-being and maintaining a sustainable relationship with our earth in connection to the land. I will definitely carry and promote this rich interaction with nature with future students, colleagues and people I may encounter.

Christina Chen

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