I first joined the teaching world in 2006 as a fifth grade inclusion classroom teacher. I have always believed that authentic experiences yield the best and most effective learning opportunities. After all, we learned how to walk and talk by just...trying. We failed often but eventually, we learned these valuable skills and haven't forgotten them along the way.
I am passionate about experiential learning, especially in the style of expeditions, hence why I teach the way I teach, wrote the book I wrote, and complete field expeditions annually.
I come alive in the field whether it's globetrotting on expedition, outdoors on my school's campus, or in my own backyard with my family. Expeditions, journeys of exploration, are at the core of my identity. What started in 2017 as an outrageous grant pitch to the Virginia Association of Science Teachers to send me tot he amazon as a professional development opportunity quickly became how I identify myself as a human being.
In fact, the hashtag #ExpeditionSchnekser was a direct result of collaborating with Sean Gaillard, author of The Pepper Effect, as I prepared for my first expedition to Peru back in 2018. While exploring the culture and history of Peru, I became and explorer and have not turned back since. Exploration, expeditions are authentic, immersive learning experiences that have proven to be the most effective profressional and personal development opportunities for me. Thus, I strive to bring this opportuinty to my own students, classrooms globally, and educators who are looking for something more, something different for their own professional development.
In my experience within the education world, particularly at the elementary level, science is a subject that is often skipped in favor of reading, writing, and math. In my first year of teaching, I committed myself to changing this narrative and practice. My book, Expedition Science: Empowering Learners Through Exploration, shares my own journney, stories, and strategies to make science authentic, accessible, and elevate it to its proper place within classrooms. Check out more insider details here
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