I have had clarity in my plans for my Masters since almost day one. There was a hiccup after Stacia spoke to us last fall where I thought my focus on nature and young students was perhaps not my passion. I had concerns, until a fellow classmate talked me off of the ledge of confusion and back onto solid ground. Since that hiccup, I have been clear. I have taken my students outdoors, reflected on their activities, recorded conversations and discussed my ideas with fellow teachers and administrators. My goal has been to create a guide to help urban/inner city teachers of Kindergarten/Grade 1 students get outdoors and utilize the nature found in their communities. I focussed my bibliography last summer on technology with young children with a plan to link technology to the outdoor play activities that every child should have. I wrote my original research folder with my outdoor focus and I had my plan in mind with every step I took.
Last night, we had our break out room time in 515, and I had this shocking realization from the nowhere, that I had written it up wrong. That my thought process was not where it should be and my research topic was written from the wrong perspective.
My original idea for a guide is not the problem. I did however look at my topic of Environmental Education, and I realized that getting kids in urban centers out into nature wasn’t Environmental Education, but Self-Regulation. I am not talking about Self-Regulated Learning, but behaviours. The simple fact I realized is: my students are practicing their self-regulation when we are outside in nature. I know that play and nature are integral to the development of children. I know that teachers are concerned about taking children outside during instructional hours. I know that I get asked questions on how I cover curriculum while taking kids outside. I know that I still want to help teachers get outdoors with their students.But I also know, it is not about Environmental Education or Stewardship.
Today, however, I spent an hour sitting in front of the UVic Library site pondering search terms and coming up blank. It feels almost like starting anew. I know I don’t have to begin completely again, but I have to find some time to sit down and really think about where I am going. It almost feels like a period of letting go.I am not a person who can switch gears from a plan quickly; I need to think, and let it all come. I know the members of my fabulous cohort will have advice and I welcome it. I realize that I need to talk again with Valerie, organize a meeting with the librarians, and take down the big chart in the hallway where I have mapped out my plan. I’m back to my previous mantra of “Breathe. It will all be okay.”