Teachers Take a Field Trip

Teachers Take a Field Trip

Who would have thought that all Out-of-Door teachers would take their own field trip on a school bus together?

Early Friday morning the teachers had to rise and shine to be at school at 5:45 am to take a two hour bus ride to Orlando. They got a chance to feel like students again!

All teachers from the Lower, Middle, and Upper school went to the Florida Council of Independence School Conference. David Mahler, ODA’s Head of School, is the President of the organization. During the conference teachers participated in workshops and lectures exploring new research techniques and hearing from other teachers from across the state.

Teachers and faculty members from the best independent schools all over Florida attended. Teachers shared teaching strategies, research, and technology developments.

“It’s nice that we got the chance to cross-pollinate,” says Mrs. Giraud when talking about the different workshops the teachers participated in. The teachers had the opportunity to learn about different programs and initiatives in independent schools throughout Florida that are similar to those of The Out-of-Door Academy.

Some of the Upper School teachers have already begun to introduce new teaching strategies they discovered at the convention, and using them in their classrooms.

American History teacher, Mr. Sommers, as well as Physics teacher, Mr. Shamp, both used a new technique they learned at the convention in a Keynote speech by Harvard physicist and tech entrepreneur Eric Mazur. They wrote three multiple choice questions on the board, and students answered one question at a time. Instead of answering quiz-style questions in isolation,  the students were asked to hold up the answer they believed to be correct, using their fingers. After answering the question on their own, they were then allowed to discuss the question with their peers and therefore come up with a new answer.

This technique allows students to collaborate and use each other as resources to figure out the most logical answers to questions related to the material being studied in class.

“Students can explain to other students” rather than giving students a lecture, says Mr. Sommers.

When talking about the trip as a whole Mr. Sommers, says, “It was a good experience. Seeing how dedicated other teachers are was inspiring.”

The ODA campus continues to grow as all of us explore new ideas. It’s nice to know that our teachers like being students as much as they love to teach!