Write about one way that you “meaningfully” involve the community in the learning in your classroom. If you don’t yet do so, discuss one way you could get started.
I definitely don’t do this enough! I have heard of so many educators using community members as experts in the classroom, and I need to do it more. For my first two years, I didn’t live in the community I taught in. This was a big challenge because I didn’t know anyone other than fellow teachers and a few parents of students. Now that I have lived in the community for 3 years, I know more people and need to use them!
One thing I would like to do is invite professionals that use different sciences on a daily basis. Here are some ideas for professions in my small, rural town that use science:
- Medical personnel – This is obviously the first thing to come to mind. Doctors, nurses, dentists, and other medical professionals use biology, chemistry, anatomy, physiology, and even some physics every day!
- Farmers – These guys are using science all day, every day! They use biology, ecology, chemistry (mixing chemicals, pH of soil, etc.), and lots of technology.
- Conservation Officer – We have the county conservation office in town. The conservation officer utilizes ecology, biology, meteorology, and chemistry.
- Park Ranger/Game, Fish, and Parks Officer – The amount of ecology these men and women study and apply is phenomenal.
- Engineer – Although we are a small town, there are a few industrial businesses located here. I’m not sure of it, but I’m guessing there is at least one engineer employed in our town of 1100! Engineers use a lot of physics, some chemistry, and obviously engineering skills!
- Firefighter – The fire department here is fully volunteer, and they use science in their line of work. They must know about water pressure (physics), the best way to fight fires (related to chemistry), and things like CPR & first aid (biology)!
I think I could go on forever with ideas of people to invite to the classroom. I’m going to make a goal of inviting at least one person to speak in my room by the end of the year!