Off to Martha’s Vineyard

At our school we have a program called Endersession, which is a week long course spanning the last full week of the school year.  It allows students to experience unique educational opportunities in an intensive, hands-on course.  It is designed to foster educational methods that reach beyond the classroom walls, encouraging students to develop varied interests and insights that allow them to embrace and reflect upon the world around them.

Students are taking courses like: music production (they are producing songs & recording an album in one week!), backpacking in the white mountains, historic Massachusettes (field trips somewhere different every day), blacksmithing, creating a public art piece, etc. It is really one of my favorite times of the year; instead of suffering through end of the year burnout, students and teachers share their passion and engage in real-world learning!

I am co-leading Biking in Martha’s Vineyard. We’ll be gone tomorrow (Wednesday) through Friday. Yesterday and today we learned about bikes and the Vineyard. (By the way, if you have any interest in cycling, I strongly recommend the documentary Hell on Wheels, which is about the 2003 Tour de France, and follows the German team both in the race and behind the scenes.) For part of today, about a third of the group went on a warm-up bikeride. Those who didn’t have bikes, and are renting them once we arrive, went on a 1 1/2 hour hike in the woods with me. Our school now owns 200 acres, most of it completely undeveloped. It was a bit wet and overcast, but so beautiful.

When we couldn't go any further on this trail (it was flooded), we saw a huge heron colony in the tree tops. There were dozens of nests, filled with birds. It was amazing.

They're small in this picture, but you can see several nests.

Most Endersession groups have one leader and 6-8 students. My co-leader and I have the biggest group–21 students, five boys and 16 girls. Since I am the sole female chaperon, I will be spending the next two evenings sharing a room at a hostel with 16 teenage girls!! (I probably won’t get much sleep, but I really am excited!)

I wish I had time for more, but dinner and packing await… I’ll update when I get back!

Comments are closed.