"The important thing is not so much that every child should be taught, as that every child should be given the wish to learn." - John Lubbock
Aloha, friends, from sunshiny Hawaii!
Roz has asked me to write a guest blog about something that is a passion of mine, a project that has Team Roz very excited: the newly launched Education section of rozsavage.com.
It’s something we’ve been wanting to do for a long time now – even back when I was first working with Roz two years ago. Over the years, Roz has given a number of talks and presentations, many to groups of children. You should see their eyes light up when she tells them about the animals she sees while she’s out on the ocean. They’re thrilled by her stories of battling 20-ft waves, and inspired by her desire to chase the dream of having a big adventure. Roz is a fantastic role model, especially for young girls.
A teacher friend of mine got me thinking: he says that in American education today, the discussion has become almost exclusively about test scores. It’s troubling that the need to inspire children has effectively left the conversation and focus instead centers on the driest, most mundane aspects of learning–test taking and preparation. I’ve heard this sentiment repeatedly expressed in conversations with my brother and other teacher friends of mine, so this is clearly a persistent problem. How sad for us all!
What an opportunity then for teachers to connect Roz with their students by integrating her ocean adventures with their endeavors in the classroom. Her voyage can be used to teach geography, math, science, social studies – just about anything, really. Learning should be fun! I remember all of my teachers’ names throughout the years but the standouts are the ones that inspired me and made the learning process enjoyable. Somehow, they got me to stop chatting with my neighbor and pay attention. Anyone who knows me well understands just what a challenge that must have been! If only I’d had Roz’s Pacific Voyage as subject matter to study…
An educator from New York named Jacob Tanenbaum (pictured) first heard of Roz during her row across the Atlantic. He was inspired by her adventures, and as a result, he applied and was accepted to be a NOAA teacher at sea. We connected with him in New York City in February and talked him through our ideas and goals for an education section on the website. It was a challenging remit with absolutely no financial resources to offer. But Jacob is an absolute star—resourceful, creative and passionate about teaching by inspiring. He quickly drew up an outline and over the following weeks, developed what you now see on the site: a collaborative resource for teachers of all grade levels who would like to use Roz's Pacific adventures to engage and inspire students in an array of subjects. Here educators can upload lesson plans and classroom materials, share ideas and communicate with teachers around the world, and even interact with Roz while she's at sea. Jacob introduced us to SCRATCH, an MIT-developed gaming code that is easy enough for children to use to create games—which can be a fantastic learning tool.
Please remember: this is an entirely user-driven site. In order for this to work, we need teachers to create, not just use the content. So if you know a teacher, please do share this site with them. Remember, when it comes to creativity, the sky is the limit. We encourage you to use social media tools to share your classroom experiences with others, and with us—you know how Roz loves to blog, Twitter, record podcasts and share photos and videos. Please do the same! We can’t wait to see your creativity in action.
So educators everywhere: if you have ideas on how we can improve the site, please let us know. You can email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you can leave us a comment here and let us know what you think!
A heartfelt thank you from Team Roz for helping to make this project a success!