This week at my school we had the chance to collaborate with Oregon Artist Daniel Dancer. He travels the world creating giant images that can only be appreciated from the sky. The medium that Dancer works with is people, and he uses that experience to teach collaboration and teamwork. We worked together as a school k-12 and all of the faculty to create an image of a Great Blue Heron.
Dancer also teaches a message of environmental awareness. His message to everyone is that if you want the earth to last for our future generations that we all need to consider the big picture when we make decisions and take actions that could impact others.
Environmental conservation is a very real science that has moved into the front lines of politics today. As soon as our collaborative assemblies would finish students would rush up to me to ask questions about the things that Daniel Dancer had said. Many of them have strong beliefs that they have learned from their parents and families that went against some of the things Dancer was saying. I have not gotten to the point in my curriculum where I teach about environmental issues but students wanted to learn about that now so we had some good discourse about what we know and have learned about the environment and global warming. While I didn’t really tell them anything this week I gave them the opportunity to share their ideas with each other (and me) which has given me a good idea of where I need to start when I do get to that unit later on in the year.
Regardless of student’s personal beliefs I told them all that Mr. Dancer’s message of thinking about the consequences of your actions before you take them is un-arguably a good one, so keep thinking everybody!