Creek Speak April 2017 - Page 52

as a little pick-me-up.” However, it wasn’t just a pick-me-up for Finnestead, but for his students as well. He spoke for his students and said, “They are great, they get out and get fresh air”, but when asked how he felt, he responded with: “Oh I enjoy it, a little vitamin D from the sunshine. It’s a nice break from the everyday routine”. This statement is true, and breaking away from everyday routine is a good thing.

break from the everyday routine”. This statement is true, and breaking away from everyday routine is a good thing.

Although there are clear benefits to holding classes outdoors, some teachers are skeptical. We interviewed Mr. DeFilippo about his opinions and experiences with the great outdoors. He responded with: “My only experience is from teaching summer school. I took my class outside to do some reading, as soon as we went outside, they decided to start mowing the lawn with a very loud lawnmower. As soon as this happened students started to lose focus”. There is always the urge for students to get off track, which is something that can occur in and out of the classroom. “The idea is to keep control of your students no matter what setting you are in,” and Mr. DeFilippo had mentioned this when we interviewed him, which is a very valid point. He had said: “Classroom management is about as many classroom factors possible, and when you step outside, these factors start to go away.”

This statement can be found true for some students, but the idea is to take those “classroom factors”, and being able to implement them into the lesson you are teaching the class. Finnestead was able to take the outdoor activity and apply it to the lesson. He had said: “Often times it would center around our discussion or reading if there was reading at the time”. We took this opportunity to ask Finnestead: “How did the students respond to the opportunity of having class outside?”. Finnestead retorted with: “Some would occasionally be distracted, but we came back to the topic and resumed with class”. After Finnestead made this statement, we asked how he brought the students who had been off topic back to the main idea and focused. Finnestead responded enthusiastically: “Proximity. Walking over to their area, and asking questions, to get them back into the nature of working with the group.” Which in our opinion, is a very successful way and an efficient way of working, and has a positive impact as compared to just getting on a student and yelling at them or punishing them as some teachers do.