A Community of Learners
Isn't it one of the best feelings to spend time with an old friend and reconnect?
I am grateful to have had the opportunity to reconnect with many, many old friends and make some new ones at the Upper Valley Teaching Place Collaborative (UVTPC) Conference held at Lake Morey Resort this past month. It definitely renewed my passion for placed based learning and collaboration.
Reconnecting with colleagues and meeting new potential partners was a highlight for many who attended the conference. We were able to laugh, learn, play, and be together. It solidified my belief that being with people in person is more energizing than seeing them through a screen. All of our senses were engaged. We could see, hear, smell, and touch the people around us. We were able to move from one place to another engaging our muscles and skeletal system. Our sense of taste was used at lunch while we talked about our lives and the people and places important to us and were encouraged to celebrate successes.
This type of engagement and connection that comes from full sensory exploration is exactly why I promote PBEE to educators everywhere I've lived and why I practice it myself. Learners should be given opportunities to interact with their community and place with all their senses. They should be able to do this individually and in groups. There should be time for exploration, investigation, reflections, and application. They should be encouraged to share and celebrate their successes. This helps them build connections and relationships with the people around them. These things make learning fun, engaging, relevant, and something to look forward to.
If you share this vision of learning and envision an Upper Valley where all students are deeply engaged in education that fosters ecological understanding and connection to place, the UVTPC is the place for you.
Founded in 2017 as the Wellborn Hub, the UVTPC is a network of education professional development providers and practitioners who work together to advance high-quality place-based and ecological education (PBEE) in all Upper Valley Schools.
After several years of fiscal sponsorship by Vital Communities, UVTPC became a Vital Communities program in July 2021. UVTPC is funded by the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation’s Wellborn Ecology Fund.
Learn more about what the UVTPC is up to, how you can be involved, and sign-up for their newsletter here: https://vitalcommunities.org/upper-valley-teaching-place-collaborative/