Captain America

The last week of July, we had no preschool programs at Salem or Saugus and instead the Education Rangers, Marianna and Tim and I got to spend the whole week at the Park for Every Classroom workshop. Although education isn’t something, I see myself pursuing as a career, seeing all the resources teachers have for students to learn in a non-traditional classroom setting and experience new places and ideas, rather than being confined to their school where they already spend a large portion of their time was very comforting.

We spent our first day at Salem Maritime National Historic Site and the teachers got to visit the Friendship of Salem, The Narbonne House, the Derby Garden, the Custom House and the Public Stores. We also got to go to Gloucester which is where Manchester by the Sea was filmed, and it was such a beautiful place even though it smelled like fish and most people’s accents weren’t as strong as I thought they would be. The Cape Ann Museum had an exhibition, Portraits of a Working Waterfront, which consisted of photographs of individuals and families who work in one of the country’s oldest seaport, Gloucester. Living in a city my whole life, seeing photographs of people who work in the fishing industry in 2019 was interesting.

One thing I noticed at the places we were visiting was that environmental education was very much integrated into their programs. At Maritime Gloucester we learned about an invasive species, green crab which are small crabs that reproduce rapidly and pose a threat to marine ecosystems by killing plants and feeding on mussels and clams. One of the ways to deal with this invasive species is by eating the green crabs! There was also an organization that focuses on sustainability and doing interactive programs with students. When we were in Lawrence, we learned about the Ferrous Site and an activity they do with children is giving them all a cup with a pollutant and the children pour it into a clean container of water as they hear a story about how the river gets contaminated. I thought it was a great idea because the kids need to listen to the story so they can know when to pour their pollutant in the water and they get to see how the water changes with each pollutant.

My favorite day was at Essex because we got to go rowing and our instructor, Ian assumed that we would be able to row easily, but he was extremely wrong. I kept rowing the wrong way, so he ended up making me the navigator, Captain America! It was also super funny when some people on a boat drove past us and asked if we were a summer camp.

Teachers and educators have such an important job and seeing how much effort they are putting into making their students educational experience better was awesome!

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