New Experiences

Posted by Dr. Beth Reaves

No. 4 New Experiences

As an educator, I particularly enjoy seeing our students grow and expand their knowledge through new experiences. During the past twelve months, I’ve had the opportunity to join our students on a few out-of-school adventures, which were some of the many highlights of the year. I paddled on a marsh on a middle school kayaking trip, learning how to navigate the kayak with a partner, while taking in the surrounding wildlife. On a field trip to the Newseum, I enjoyed watching our third-grade students act as reporters and explore exhibits about news reports created well before they were born (it was hard for them to believe that we used to get our news from a paper!) At the National Book Festival, I joined students on a cross-country adventure with Junior League’s Around the USA exhibit, stopping to get our passports stamped and learning about state history.

Those are just a few of the many ways our students engage with and learn about the world. Reflecting on my own elementary and middle school years, I fondly remember camping trips, museum excursions, and walking tours of Philadelphia with my classmates. From sleeping outside in the woods, taking in beautiful artwork, and trying new foods in the city I’d lived in my whole life, I learned that the world was much bigger than me, my school, my family. I am thrilled that students at WSG have the same opportunity to experience learning in exciting ways and to explore places, cultures, and knowledge that are new or different than their own. In their eyes, I see the spark of curiosity and joy of discovery which are inspiring reminders of why I became an educator.

One of the long-lasting benefits of a great education is the understanding that learning isn’t contained in a classroom. Instead, learning happens all the time, and it can take many forms, in many places, through many different people. Learning takes place over a lifetime of new experiences, and I want our students to be lifelong learners.