By Blair Tang, Senior Program Assistant at The Innovative Learning Center
This month at the Innovative Learning Center, we’re learning about the Earth, with a strong focus on what we can do to improve the environment. In the Academic Program, both Primary and Secondary groups discussed different things we can do, such as plant more trees, recycle trash, etc. This week, we went for an outing to Gu Cun Park to experience nature in bloom first hand.
My colleagues and I wanted to vividly convey that spring is the season during which everything in nature begins to awaken and come back to life. Another aspect we were working on with the kids was learning how to take care of each other during an outing in public, such as holding hands so that everyone can catch up with the group and helping friends clean up after we finish the snack and lunch. We quickly found that with only a little encouragement, some kids immediately took care of each other, for example while crossing the street.
The moment we arrived at the park, we found a place to have a snack. Some of the kids helped us set the picnic table. After we ate, we all cleaned up together. Then we headed towards a path full of beautiful flowers and lots of people. Then we had our lunch in a woods where some of the kids played with the ball and others had a little nap under the trees.
The outing was thoroughly enjoyable. The children learned to be flexible about all the little unexpected things that happen during an excursion, such as how to enjoy the flowers even though the park was very crowded, or being flexible about the public bathroom. Some kids learned that they need to line up to use the bathroom in public. Others, who used to be scared about public bathrooms, were able to use the public one which was not in even in a building, but on a mobile van.
Though the crowded park provided many learning opportunities, next time I think it would be more fun to be in a more secluded place so that we can really enjoy nature. I think, however, that the kids really learned something different in this outing with their peers, because they needed to take care of others instead of being taken care of all the time. I’m more than impressed with how flexible they were in this non-structured, “natural”, environment.
Senior Program Assisstant
Blair is a Senior Program Assistant at The Innovative Learning Center, and has been with ELG for over four years. She thoroughly enjoys working with children with special needs, and is working towards a certification in Applied Behavior Therapy.