Step 2: Planning to Go Outside
Going outside with students often requires planning with multiple people, and taking time to obtain all of the appropriate permissions. You may need to schedule your Outdoor Field Experience with the field location, organize transportation, and prepare substitute teachers or support staff to help on the experience or back in the classroom. Even if you stay on school grounds, you may still need to obtain permission from your school's administration, or to schedule additional staffing to ensure all students are able to participate. With all of this to consider, it's a good idea to start thinking about potential field experiences early.
When reviewing options for your Outdoor Field Experience, consider the following:
- Is the location accessible for all students?
- Who will facilitate outdoor learning? The classroom teacher, or partner educators?
- What are the experience's learning objectives? Will students be collecting data, making observations, or brainstorming supporting questions?
- Can at least one outdoor experience happen on school grounds? (Outdoor Field Experiences on school grounds can help ensure the MWEE will persist if there are restrictions or conflicts with leaving school property.)
- If you are considering an off-site field location, do you have the funds, permissions, and staff support to make it happen?
- Does the school already have a planned field trip that could be used during the MWEE?