A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about standardizing when I would post certain themes on my blog. For years, I’ve had Silent Sunday, Slice of Life Tuesday, and Poetry Friday as regular postings on those days. It’s been an organized and successful way for me to post and for my readers to know (at least loosely) what they’d be seeing that day in my post.
Now, I am going to take this standardization a step further. On Wednesdays, you will see posts on creating. Our family is always busy creating one thing or another, so I thought this would be a great way to highlight some of those projects and inspire others to create!
My creative hobbies include writing (of course), sewing, jewelry making, gardening, and lesson development. You might think this last hobby is odd and wonder how can she be creative with lessons when so much in education is dictated to teachers today. This is where being a non-formal educator really helps! For years, instead of embracing this fact, I lamented not having a teaching license. I had nursing licenses and a prescriptive license when I was a nurse practitioner but when I changed careers and went into environmental education, the curriculum did not provide an avenue to a teaching license. As I noted, I used to bemoan this fact instead of really embracing it.
My lessons are well thought out, and believe it or not, of high quality and do meet common core standards, although I’ve had few ask if I’ve gone to the trouble to align them. Subjects are thoroughly researched prior to writing the lesson or lesson plan. As with most environmental education, a hook is important as is engagement for the students. This means that my lessons usually have an interactive component and/or a hands-on project.
However, since the pandemic, only one of my lessons has been in person. This was a lesson last August for a conservation camp. I rarely used video or technology in my lessons prior to the shutdown caused by COVID-19. It’s not that I did not know how to use it- I had a website for our garden club, worked as the webmaster for the State Master Gardener Conference in 2015, and have had an Etsy shop since 2009. I use technology and can use it well. But, when teaching about the environment, I feel that using a video is not optimal – at all.
Despite my feelings, this is exactly what I and virtually every teacher I know has had to do during the pandemic. We’ve had to get our lessons done online via Zoom, an online presentation using google slides, video, or any number of different creative means.
For the third year in a row, I am presenting for an environmental day celebration at a local elementary school in early April. My topic is flower bulbs, and while I’ve done this lesson many times before, I’ve never done it via a computer screen! I adjusted a slide show I made in the winter of 2021 to make it more accessible for first grade – the grade for which I was asked to present, but it needs more than my colorful slides. It needs a voice-over!
Enter the Audacity app! I googled, “How do I add a voice-over to a google slide presentation?” This directed me to the Audacity app and from there, I went to YouTube for a tutorial. So, today, and probably tomorrow – depending on how it goes – I’ll be adding audio to my flower bulb presentation. I’ll be “creating” the voice-over for each slide.
The fun part of creating is that you learn something new each time you create. This is true whether you are a painter, a composer, a 3-D printer, a jewelry artist, or a writer.
Creating stretches what you know and feeds the soul all at the same time.
What are you creating now?