Teaching the outdoors inside
June 9, 2021
Considering the challenges of Covid, this has been a memorable year for Outdoor Adventure teacher Earl Gibson. How did he manage to virtually teach a class based on being in the great outdoors?
“Ideally, Outdoor Adventure is meant to be an experiential education-based course, promoting a kinesthetic and tactile style of learning, in which students actively participate and apply outdoor safety, survival, and recreational skills,” said Gibson. “Having to teach this class virtually this year posed numerous challenges, in addition to the stringent Covid mitigation strategies that were in place. The ‘experience’ was almost completely removed from a virtual standpoint and the social distancing and contactless assignments removed many of the valuable hands-on and collaborative team building elements of the class,” he added.
Throughout all the challenges he faced while teaching virtually, Gibson tried to focus on the positive. “I enjoy teaching because I enjoy learning, which sounds cliche, but I really like the content I teach and being able to share the knowledge I have gained hoping that it makes a positive impact or inspires someone along the way,” he said.
When Gibson faced the challenge of teaching an Outdoor Adventure class virtually, he took it head on. “I tried to overcome the challenges of teaching through Covid this year mostly by being patient, empathetic, and flexible, understanding that it has been a difficult year for everyone,” he said.
On the days that Gibson isn’t teaching, he has a few activities that he enjoys. “I really like to be outdoors–big surprise. My favorite activities include whitewater kayaking, canoeing, snowboarding, mountain biking, hiking and camping,” he said.