Blog posts tagged in Instructors
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By Claire McKinnon

I have been working at Courageous since I was 15 years old. Instantly I fell in love with working in Step 2. I could write an entire encyclopedia on why I love Step 2 but in the end it all boils down to the students I have the privilege of working with everyday. The kids are all unique as individuals but form a clear Step 2 community for everyone else to see. Each student is kind and wants each other to succeed as much as they want to succeed them selves. This breads a unique kindness and strive for fun and knowledge that creates the Step 2 community.

Having worked in Step 2 for many years now I have seen many kids come, learn, and graduate on to bigger steps. As I walked around this year I came to the exciting and slightly unsettling realization that I have taught a majority of the children in older steps. It fills me with such pride that all of my Step 2 children have moved on and become better sailors. It unsettles me because it draws further attention to my age and that one day I will need to graduate and leave Courageous, like they have left Step 2.

What makes me even happier that they have also kept the same kindness and community, despite being from all over the city with different backgrounds and personalities.As more of my Step 2 kids graduate this year I could only hope they achieve the same experience as all the students who have graduated in the past.

One of the most rewarding experiences for me as an environmental educator this summer was working with the Instructors in Training (IITs).  At Courageous, the IITs are high school students who have attended the summer youth program for many years or are interested in becoming a sailing instructor.

The environmental aspect of the IIT program has two main components: learning more about environmental science and learning how to teach environmental science.  Each week, on Tuesday afternoons, I facilitated a mini-lecture on the week’s topic (mammals, crustaceans, sharks, etc), then the IITs participated in hands-on activities or experiments to further understand the subject.  These lessons were appropriate for high school level learners, using proper vocabulary and themes.  However, the hands-on activities were always fun and allowed the IITs the chance to immerse themselves in the learning in a fully enjoyable way.

On Thursday afternoons, the IITs and I worked on how to teach environmental topics to their future sailing students. These lessons often involved half of the group of IITs pretending to be beginning sailing students and the other half of the IITs facilitating an environmental activity for them.  Sometimes the lessons focused more on how to talk to students about nature and the outdoors while sailing.

I had a great time working with the IITs this summer.  Their energy and willingness to learn were a true inspiration.  I am very grateful that I had the opportunity to lead future instructors in becoming more environmentally aware and  more eager to teach environmental education to their students.

in Green

 

 

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