One of the electives currently offered at TIDE Academy is an Ecology/Gardening/ Scouts class. I know, that’s a lot of slashes, right? This is due the nature of the course. As the students interests and wonders have developed so has the direction of the elective. Although the same outcomes are achieved, in this popular elective, the road to reaching the outcomes has adapted along the way. Their current mission is creating a jungle trial to explore the local ecosystem.
Speaking of slashes, how does someone get a machete license? Interest in using a machete is a natural desire for some students and let’s be honest, it’s cool! One of the earlier classes of the year involved opening the abundance of coconuts that were taken off the school’s coconut trees. This… required a machete.
Another goal of the class has been making a jungle trail through the trees to the estuary. The project will provide a walking path and sitting area, so students can explore and work outside. This will also create space for students to identify plants, animals and become more familiar with their local ecosystem. Making a trial in the jungle isn’t an easy task and like opening a coconut, requires a machete. Usually, this is a job reserved for one of our veteran teachers and ecological enthusiast, Moses.
Moses is the coordinator of the course and is always willing to explore students’ interests and personalize their learning. When one of the 4thgrade students, Sam, and one of the 8th graders, ZJ told Moses about their interest to use a machete, Moses was quick to encourage their parents to support their learning interest. Long story short, after many overseen hours they excitedly received parental approval and their machete license.
Personally, it has been great to see how Sam and ZJ have gained a skill that many others would fear. Parents, teachers and students work together to help students gain skills they are enthused about. We are looking forward to sharing the walking path with parents once it is complete.