Summer break can be a time to recharge with opportunities for discovery and sparking inspiration. This week we’re sharing summer experiences from two educators that have made a lasting impression on their practice. Today we hear from Scott Larsen, an Environmental Science Teacher at Sunset Park High School, who traveled to Namibia this summer.
What did you do this summer that inspired you?
I spent two weeks working at the Cheetah Conservation Fund, a non-profit conservation group located in Namibia. I was there exploring participatory education practices in both formal and informal settings. Conservation is not just something done in the wilderness and away from people. It takes the willingness of everyone involved to make real change which is why they were such an amazing example for to learn from.
What did you learn or gain from the experience?
I was able to witness how the many different aspects of a country collide on a daily basis and how quickly issues become clouded. It was inspiring to work with many people who spend their lives fighting for a better world for all of us by working together, especially with those who may not have the same outlook.
What are you excited to explore or implement this school year?
I am excited to use the experiences I gained to create a deeper understanding the role of humans in nature for my students. By designing a curriculum centered around the community my students live in, I hope to engage them in real world issues and show them how they can solve problems without losing their own or their community’s moral compass.