Attached to this blog post is my youtube video that compliments this final blog post for ESCI 302.. (big sad face btw)
Throughout my Journey of Environmental Education 302 I have found myself shift a little. Prior to the class I had a little amount of knowledge regarding climate change, and my own personal connection with the environment. I simply was a person in that space in time that had very little connection with his surroundings. However as the course took over my life I became invested in the idea of my impact. I watched documentaries such as Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things, and No Impact Man, these documentaries not only brought better understanding to my life, but made me want to change.
As the semester progressed I found myself donating a majority of my clothes, and focus on having as little and buy minimal amounts of clothing. This not only supported my mental health considering I have OCD, but it helped the environment in the sense that I did not consume a piece of clothing. I became more aware of what things are made of after we spoke with Brenda; I became more conscious of what was on the ingredients list. I understand what I am doing to the environment and I am on the consistent climb to change my actions in order to help support the fight for the planets survival.
Through the embodiment project, and inquiry project I found a better sense of my personal impact, and how I can impact students. I am grateful to be exposed to inquiry education (something that I did not know was a thing before this class), and projects such as the embodiment project. Due to these aspects I am slowly growing into the teacher I hope I am going to be; an understanding teacher with supportive project-based learning.
Overall I have a better sense of understanding in the space around me as I explained in my video. I didn’t give any audio in the video to put emphasis on the space in which I was walking. I was able to walk within nature, and the city and understand that there once used to be “open land”. Where there is concrete there used to be field, where there are trees there used to be many. Like I said in the video we can’t all snap our fingers and jump into a mode of climate change disruption; However, we can slowly move towards that point. The first step towards disrupting climate change is acknowledge your own personal impact. With that knowledge you can change yourself, and considering we are all going to be presenting our knowledge to the future generations, we can transfer our understanding into our students.
It is quite clear through taking ESCI 302 that I have a high inclination to use inquiry based learning when I become an educator myself. M.J Barrett says it perfectly in the Making (Some) Sense of Feminist Poststructuralism in Environmental Education Research and Practice reading. When I first starting reading this paper (despite it being when I first woke up) I didn’t really understand what poststructuralism meant. I don’t know if it was again because I just woke up or I was just skimming through the first little bit but it wasn’t until her “Discourse” area where it finally popped out to me; poststructuralism is the whole idea of disrupting the current way of learning. “ones that led me to see myself as an instructor who works to develop a ‘sense of wonder’ in my students within poststructuralism” pretty much speaks for how I have envisioned my classroom since day one. I have never been the strongest suited for school, and that was all of my life; I actually didn’t start getting “decent” marks until first year of University which makes no sense. However, with this never having good marks mentality I never enjoyed school for many reasons, but one of the main reasons (besides marks) was that it was boring! You sit in a desk all day in a fluorescent flavoured room with motivation posters on top of a bland white canvas. You sit there all day long as the teacher drills things (they were things to me) into your head; was the vision of school except for grade 7 and 8 where it became more lenient. Once I got the university I then realized why school was like this and it was the whole idea of westernized learning/assembly line learning.
Conformity is drilled into our heads into our lives in this day and age; you have to have specific characteristics in order to be considered attractive, you have to score high on a test because if this happens we know you are smart, you have to sit in rows so that you cannot form relationships with classmates. However I have always had this vision of an open concept classroom, one where the educator is merely the conductor of the train, but the students are the ones adding fuel to the fire. When looking at the portions of my life that I seem most successful in are moments where I had learned the trait on my own. I have such a strong imagination because my parents were never home because they worked 12 hour days everyday, so I improvised; I am decent at guitar because I taught myself in a way; I feel as if I have good people skills because parents were never there to help me solve my problems.
Overall I enjoy this idea of allowing students to go through school understanding that without them school is nothing, thus it should be student centric, not teacher and board. In my opinion (which could be wrong, IDK yet considered I’m not a teacher yet) school should be around the idea of the Journey, not the end result. Not every student learns at the same rate (I never understood the concept of your, and you’re until grade 10), and some will learn different aspects during different points of their life. School should be based around their current journey, and guiding them on that journey apposed to fitting a norm.
I wanted to take the time before I start my reflection of The Paris Agreement to mention the picture I have posted above. With the rise of the weather comes the rise of the litter and garbage that has assembled over the winter within my area. This is the second summer I have spent at the house we currently call home, and when the dam near by starts flowing generally the only revolting thing it pushes out is the disgusting “lake” water found behind our house but these year another factor has made its way in the damn, garbage. Normally the smell of the rushing water in the dam is enough to keep people away from it but now it just become more disgusting due to the pollution in the water where you can see plastic, and styrofoam cups everywhere.
This is where I refer to The Paris Agreement because I am downright disgusted knowing that the government is somewhat making an effort to help with pollution and climate change but that still does not stop people from littering. The sad thing about our current society is such as the first nations way of living (preparing for the future 7 generations) our generation only cares about the now, and ourselves. Rather then taking the time to find a garbage can to throw away a Tims cup, some people just throw them out of the window because that’s quicker and painless for them. I can’t speak as if I have never done such things before but I am becoming more aware of my impact on the environment and this is what pushes me towards changing my habits.
I want to refer to when we were ice fishing this season and I had a friend who would burn his styrofoam plates when he was done eating. I said to him “You idiot that’s bad for the environment” and he simply said “So?”. This is the problem the current generations have is that they do not know how their actions are impacting the environment. I have another friend who drives his truck around as a daily driver because he wants to show off, when simply having a smaller car would get the same job done with less impact. I think my duty as a teacher is to educate the next generations on their impacts on the environment. We live in a society where no matter what we do we will have an impact on the environment; even if we all drove electric cars, we still need to make roads to drive the cars on. What I want to focus on as an educator is minimizing the amount of impact one can have on the environment. It is unrealistic at this point to have a no-impact life because that is just the world we live in. However, we can work our way towards limiting our impact to make room for a more sustainable life.