NY Sun Works PL Series: The Power of Observation

Every November the NY Sun Works Education team hosts a professional learning session for our partner teachers. The session usually takes place in-person, in one of our Greenhouse Classrooms, surrounded by vine crops, leafy greens, and the soft bubble of the aquaponic system in the background. This year, as the DOE’s transition to full-remote learning loomed and eventually touched down, NY Sun Works took the PL to a virtual platform. Partner teachers gathered across four boroughs to share, explore and discuss “The Power of Observation” in this year’s November PL.

Teachers explored together the potential of cultivating joy, focusing on observation and its particular uses in this complicated learning landscape. We shared virtual tools to record data and present findings, as well as re-discovered the natural curiosity that is found in growing plants through the hydroponic process.  

We brainstormed ideas and shared best practices, while exploring the new curricular offerings (including NEW lessons focused on the process of germination!) and virtual tools found in the NY Sun Works Learning Center. We particularly enjoyed talking through the challenges of our not-so-simple task of fostering confidence in our Farmer Scientist students in a remote setting. 

Our three hour-long sessions flew by and we all left with a refreshed excitement for the magic of germination, a better understanding of the tools and new lessons available to us, and the inspiration to facilitate living laboratories in our students’ remote learning spaces. We also spent some time connecting with colleagues, exchanging tips and ideas, while building connections between hydroponic-veteran and first-time teachers.  

Stay tuned for a future announcement about Spring 2021 Professional Learning opportunities, and as always don’t hesitate to reach out to Hannah (hannah@nysunworks.org) or Elaine (Elaine@nysunworks.org) with any questions.