Take a Hike!

Field trips, when planned out and tied to curriculum, provide a deeper understanding to core curriculum.

Photo of Patricia Amend-Ehn
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Quite a few years ago my husband got involved in a local program called Leadership Santa Rosa (LSR). Each year a new "class" is selected and over the course of the year they go on monthly fieldtrips to learn about local businesses, different schools, local farms, and they get involved in community events. By the end of the year, they've learned all about the valuable resources of Sonoma County.  

What if our goal was to have a deeper understanding of our local resources and learn ways to tie those resources back to the classroom? Much like LSR, teachers could sign up for a year long commitment and learn from experience. They would go on professional development field trips to learn about the resource and then collaborate with their team on how a class or school might utilize the location.  

I want professional development to be authentic and for it to be time well spent. Getting outside of a traditional learning environment would be both challenging and educational.    



Join the conversation:

Photo of Trevor Croghan

I read this literally at first.  I actually really like the idea of getting outside for PD.  Access to fresh air and natural light can act as "charging" opportunities for teachers.  Humans weren't designed to sit and stay inside all day!   What about walking / hiking staff meetings?

Photo of Sarah Lundy

This idea is critical for building a bridge between the (too often insulated) world of K-12 and the multiple spheres where students invest and apply their knowledge and skills! Your concept also shares rich parallels with Rachel Ayre's "Going To Work" post & Kaleb Rashad's "Study Trips for Adults" from the Discover phase. 

Photo of Margaret Powers

LSR seems like a great model to build on! How could this be scalable for different schools and districts? What would entice local resources to get involved and offer their spaces or time? I wonder if Outward Bound educator programs could be another inspiration for this work?

Photo of Chris Good

Outside Experiences YES And thumbs-up bringing those experiences into the classroom!

Photo of Emma Scripps


This is such a great idea. Taking teachers OUTSIDE of their normal spaces can lead to such creative thinking. A couple of people who might be great to reach out - with similar thoughts in the Discover phase:

1) Kelly - https://teachersguild.org/profiles/kmatteri
2) Lee - https://teachersguild.org/challenge/how-might-we-reimagine-professional-learning-so-that-we-continue-to-grow-feel-inspired-and-have-impact-in-the-lives-of-our-students/research/take-a-day-off

If you want to know what it means to form a team or support in reaching out to these folks, let me know!