Educator Field Trip

Is your school looking for unique professional development opportunities for your staff? Are you an educator hoping to find new, innovative ways to weave the environment into your classroom? Are you a teacher vacationing in Canada’s Rocky Mountains and looking for a unique adventure that blends fun and learning?

Join us for a field trip like no other!

We’re bringing educator individuals and groups from all grades and all subjects on an immersive journey into one of the most beautiful places in the world with the goal of helping you build compelling content and amassing new tools for the classroom.

And the best part?

All proceeds from each field trip support the development of Nature Labs – a virtual learning platform that will provide you with a curriculum-integrated program through which to apply what you’ve learned in the field to the classes you teach.

Book your field trip today! Email us hello@ghostbear.org

Book your field trip today!

 

The Details

We carefully design each field trip around your timeline, your needs and your budget, ensuring that each professional development adventure is both relevant and meaningful to you and your school. We feel strongly that educators shouldn’t be forced to adapt their PD wish list to meet a one-size-fits-all program that rarely works for anyone.

Through guided hikes, wildlife observation and field-based sessions that allow for the co-creation of classroom resources, we will work to make connections to your discipline and help you build your own story-driven content to be used with your students.

And by helping you experience the Rockies as both an individual building competencies and an educator developing new material for your class, we pledge to constructively illustrate why biodiversity is such a powerful teaching tool. After all, the environment and our shared challenge of finding new ways to balance the needs of people and nature is a springboard that can bring diverse, dry subjects to life.

Your time in the field will leave you with tangible takeaways that can help you advance nature literacy in the classroom. With Nature Labs, you will also have access to a built-in follow-up mechanism that allows you to continue your learning journey and engage your students in it as well. The program uses immersive storytelling to bring to life an innovative digital ecosystem of curated resources designed for inquiry-based, exploratory learning. Across four subjects, Nature Labs uses nature as a real-world example of course lessons in order to foster a new generation of environmentally literate citizens.

Book your field trip today! Email us hello@ghostbear.org

Book your field trip today!

Ghost Bear field trips do not include travel, meals and accommodation. However, we would be more than happy to provide you with recommendations.

 

Concepts & Pedagogy

Across Canada, as part of the UNESCO Education for Sustainable Development objectives that have been adopted by all provinces, there are existing curricula in every province that mandates nature be weaved into every subject, at every grade.

Indeed, biodiversity is more than a lesson; it is a lens that can be relevantly applied in cross-curricular delivery – from science to languages, from civics to art. It’s a real-world example of often-complex learning and, in the teaching, it offers a chance for students to collaborate creatively to problem solve, using multiple learning styles in the process. When successfully leveraged, nature is amongst the best tools for reaching different abilities and interests, while also creating a newer sense of purpose in student studies and their pursuit of career

Most critically, we want to help you bring nature to life for a new generation through powerful, immersive storytelling and real-time connections to lives of every student, no matter where they live. If we can do this, we not only provide you with the chance to meet curriculum objectives, we can also build on the foundation of nature knowledge students have already acquired and gradually create a nation that values and supports the protection of our irreplaceable natural inheritance.

We know this is possible if we can provide you with the time to develop and understand the tools that can deconstruct the complex and enliven the obscure; to help students understand that we’re a nation of ecosystems and that each one offers an accessible waypoint to tangibly assess the impact of our behaviour. And it’s critical. After all, education is the most cost-effective strategy to attain our national goals and biodiversity has the power to move the discourse beyond polarity, allowing for new entry points into some of our most challenging issues – from combatting climate change to engaging in reconciliation.

To help you meet this objective, we will work in the field to provide you with inquiry-based, exploratory learning opportunities that mirror the teaching techniques you yourself bring into the classroom. We will attempt to share our lived experiences and insights through storytelling and conversation, rather than lectures. And in championing co-creative processes, we’ll work together to help you develop personalized, credible and unbiased resources that can be implemented in your school, while leveraging our working knowledge of curricula in every province and territory to ensure it makes your life easier, not harder.

 

Book your field trip today! Email us hello@ghostbear.org

Book your field trip today!

 

Nature Labs = PD Legacy

Existing curricula in every province provides for learning intersections with biodiversity, but current resources are mostly biased, dry or out-dated. Building on your time in the field, Nature Labs uses the guidelines for Science, English, Social Studies and Art to equip teachers with unit and lesson plans that use biodiversity as the lens, each being enhanced by student-selected learning vehicles or stories and all being underpinned by thoughtful, diverse multi-media content designed for all learning styles.

Each unit plan can be used independently or concurrently with different teachers from other courses, creating seamless and intuitive classroom integration. Lesson plans will be enhanced by daily updates, ensuring that Nature Labs is a living prototype and responsive to current events and teacher needs. And through Nature Labs Premium, schools will have the option of evolving the offering with class-customized lessons, community-specific content linkages, live and interactive virtual presentations, virtual class field trips, on-demand professional development for teachers, and virtual homework help for students.

With Nature Labs, teachers will gain plug-and-play resources that develop their capacity, enable no-fuss interdisciplinary education and deliver on the often-vague, ministry-driven guidelines. Students will use their own interests to drive learning outcomes and, by leveraging inquiry-based and experiential education, they will be able to foster a sense of ownership for their natural inheritance and have the competency to solution-make for a better world.

 
 

SEASONS IN THE WILD

Spring (late April – early June): The birth of a new season brings renewal to the Rockies. Spring is best for grizzlies, as snow at higher elevations brings the bears down into the lower valleys and offers the chance to witness unique behaviour. It’s also a time when many animals are giving birth, providing a rare glimpse into predators and prey at work.

Summer (late June – August): The warmth of summer brings out wildflowers, cloudscapes and magic light that make it an ideal time to understand wildlife within the context of their landscape. During berry season, bears are omnipresent and throughout the summer, ungulates frequently linger near water.

Fall (September – early November): As the colours of fall take hold of the Rockies, ungulates take centre stage. Moose and deer are common sights and the elk rut transports you, seemingly, into a land before time. Dramatic behaviour, beautiful coats and large antlers make this one of the best seasons of the year.

Winter (December – mid March): With few people and no bugs, it’s hard to beat winter – even with the potential for arctic-like temperatures. The snowy season transforms the mountains and brings wildlife into the lower valleys in search of food, offering the best chance at finding the more elusive creatures: wolves, martens and otters.

 

About the Educators: Jill Cooper & Simon Jackson

Simon has worked with, and on behalf of, wildlife for more than 25 years – having been named a Hero for the Planet by Time Magazine for his work to protect Canada’s white Kermode or spirit bear. Jill was a high school geography and media arts teacher for a decade and has led acclaimed field trips around the world, as well as developed innovative education programming for diverse institutions. Together, they have spent nearly ten years immersed in the Canadian wilderness, documenting the stories of animals that call this landscape home and working to inspire a new generation to find a better balance between people and nature.

Bridging their skills as naturalists, advocates, educators and photographers, Simon and Jill offer storytelling and education-focused field excursions into the place of their hearts and aim to create experiences that inspire curiosity and instill a deeper appreciation for nature.

Learn more about Simon and Jill and the work you’re supporting.

Book your field trip today! Email us hello@ghostbear.org

Book your field trip now!