Ok to the KOA

by Jenn Hayhurst & Jill DeRosa

Jill is now in her fifth year discovering our majestic nation!  Consider this post a scrapbook memory, reflecting back on experiences that taught us so many lessons…. 

The RV is a smooth ride slicing due west over the open road heading towards the Badlands. Sun Hunt sings soulfully, Body Like a Back Road,  but our eyes are wide open. We are looking at the world unfold in all of its splendor, curious to know what will be revealed around every bend in the road.  This is our fourth summer exploring our great nation, and it comes with lots of questions: What route should we take? Where will we stay? What do we want to see?

Having a destination is the first decision we make, and the  KOA campground will be our home for the next few days. It’s a safe choice because we know what to expect. KOA is famous for setting up fun family tours, “Today’s KOA takes care of everything, with friendly service and great amenities, so you can have fun with the people you love.” Sign us up! 

Do we go on the guided tour and see the sights that others have planned?  Maybe, it does sound like a good time. Our tour guide will be friendly and is sure to know lots of interesting information about the Badlands. He will dedicate himself to his work and give us an incredible experience to remember.  Or… Do we decide to learn as we go?  We can map our own path and create a journey of our own design. 

So, what route would you take? The goal is to create experiences which will enhance our understanding of who we are in this great big beautiful world. Learning aspires to fill our hearts with the potential for wonder. Sometimes teachers decide to go on a learning tour, showing our students the sights in a way that is likely to generate successful experiences.  Sometimes, we will want to learn and explore alongside our students. We venture out as co-explorers and build authentic experiences that are likely to lead to all kinds of possibilities for growth for students and for us.  Name your intention, it doesn’t matter if you are teaching on tour or teaching as a co-explorer. It’s all about the learning experiences that are being created along the way.

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