In the Middle of Things..

When I first started my Creative Journal it was difficult for me in two ways. It was out of my comfort zone because I am not a good artist in any sense. But it was also difficult to take what I was learning to a deeper level. When I look at the world around me I see only good things because of my love for the outdoors. I knew general topics of environmental issues but never knew specifics on why this was happening, to be honest, it scares me to know. I think it was important for me to feel uncomfortable knowing these things because it has really opened my eyes. This has motivated me to learn more and do more positive change in my own life.

Before this class I had never heard of the term “ecoliteracy.” I have talked about it with my family and even practicing teachers and they have no idea what I am talking about. I don’t think it is a term that many people know about and I hope that I can start changing that with my future students. In Capra’s article he talks about not just teaching ecology but going out and experiencing the natural world. The students need to find that connectedness with the world in order to respect it and take care of it. I enjoyed practicing stillness it was a way of connecting with nature on a deeper level. It was a good way to stop stress and the whirlwind of things to do and just relax.

My first journal entry focused around the two sides of the world. The healthy and the unhealthy and how we as humans are in control of that. The health of the world is determined how humans take care of it. I feel that I am discouraged many times when I see how we are not taking care of it. It feels overwhelming to look at what has to be done to repair what has already been broken.

My second journal entry looked at what I thought ecoliteracy was. I look back and I see that I had a very negative standpoint. I looked at the environmental issues like pollution, destruction and invasion. I looked at the animals, plants and diversity that are suffering from these issues. After the ecoliteracy love letter and poem readings I feel like I have a different outlook on what ecoliteracy really is. Ecoliteracy is a spectrum of different ways to be ecoliterate, which one is not more important than the other. Some people talked about recycling and reducing their carbon footprint. Others talked to people who are currently ecoliterate or people in the future that we hope will be ecoliterate. The ones that resonated the most with me were the poems, songs or letters involving the love of nature. I think that ecoliteracy starts with the love of nature, the respect for our environment and connection with it in everyday life.

My third journal entry revolved around the issues that we explored. The diminishing coral reefs, overpopulation, deforestation, melting glaciers and toxic food. The issues involving the food that we eat everyday really got to me. The things that I learned that are put into our food disgust me, like fish DNA in strawberries. This sparked my interest for my action learning project to look at this issues and find everyday solutions to it. I am passionate about this mainly because it is something that directly effects me. This is an opportunity to learn and explore this subject to better myself. I also want to pass this knowledge onto my family, my students and even my community.

It took me several starts on a letter or poem before I liked what I had. I started a few poems with an angry tone but stepped back and realized that isn’t what I wanted to do. I wanted to feel hopeful and positive for change in our future. I didn’t want to focus on the negativity, I wanted to feel like I had done my part. So what is “doing my part?” I feel like as an educator that it is my job to teach students ecoliteracy and promote action. I want them to better themselves by bettering the world around them. I hope to influence them on the journey to ecoliteracy.

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