Over the past week, I have had opportunity to reflect on what I am thankful for – and so very fortunate to have such a long list. As I thought about some of the highlights of the school year to this point, I realized that one important item on the list is the people and services of Discovery Education.
I have been grateful to have access to Discovery Education even before my division subscribed to the services. I can always count on DE for videos and resources to accompany Science and Social lessons. I love using the Global News clips as they provide a concise interpretation focused on current events at a level accessible by my Grade 3 students. One of my favorite DE resources are the SOS strategies. They provide me with some fresh ideas for approaching content based lesson. I’ve also been able to leave SOS lessons for a substitute teacher confident that both students and my replacement would enjoy the learning experience.
But the most valuable use of Discovery Education has been in the powerful connections it has provided me and my students. Through my role as a DEN Star, I have come into contact with people who have a passion for teaching and learning. The experience is invigorating, and I have learned so much from the great minds of Dean Shareski, Hugh MacDonald, Karen Lirenman and more.
Where I have really seen a difference though is in the connections that my students have made. Participating in DE events has provided us with rich, authentic learning experiences. Our opportunity to meet author Peter Reynolds in September through a Discovery Ed Livestream event was no exception.
For many of our students, this was the first time they had joined in an event which broke down our school walls and brought us together with other learners across North America. I asked students to reflect on the experience and was blown away by the wisdom of their comments. What really stood out was how some of my students who face daily challenges of their own perceived the message presented by Peter. To have a struggling writer tell us “I’m inspired to write a masterpiece” means the world.
We shared these student reflections on our classroom blog and the kids were really proud of what they had done. Imagine their surprise when almost two weeks later, a visitor to the school came through our door and announced that she recognized our classroom corner from that post. She shared her impressions and the kids were so excited to know that their writing had been read by, and affected complete strangers. As she turned to go, one student said to me, “We are inspiring the world one day at a time!”
How wonderful to watch the wonderful message of author Peter Reynolds spread to, and be lived by my students. Thank you, Discovery Education, for making it so easy and simple to just sign up and participate in these events. And thank you for organizing and presenting these opportunities for our kids to realize the power that they each have!