We had a great session this week when we launched our fifth year of CivicTREK with an after-school in-service opportunity. Through the teaching and learning pedagogy of service-learning, CivicTREK helps teachers and students meet academic and Five C’s learning goals while addressing real-world problems and issues in their community.
In yesterday’s session, this year’s cohort of CivicTREK teachers:
• Introduced themselves to one another, sharing their personal and professional goals for the CivicTREK experience, beginning to form a professional learning community;
• Explored the definition of service-learning, understanding how it is related to yet different from project-based learning and other experiential learning strategies;
• Heard from CivicTREK alumni, Heather Van Kuiken and Christine Stafford who shared the projects – and learning outcomes – of students from prior years;
• Discussed how service-learning is appropriate for all students, and advances the district’s Equity for All strategic plan; and
• Began the process of thinking about how service-learning could best meet their own classroom learning and academic content goals.
Teachers left the session excited about “finding a new level on which to engage students, especially since that opportunity has been missing for so long” and look forward to “giving more choice and getting more voice.”