Would your teachers at home thrive at The Island School? We tested the idea again for the 18th time this summer when a group of 24 teachers came together at Cape Eleuthera to live the life of an Island School student. It was a week of extremes - first scuba dive, jumping off of high rock, run-swims, as well as practicing and discussing experiential education and project-based learning techniques.
"I faced some fears, which I ask students to do all the time. I networked almost around the clock, gleaning information from Island School colleagues. I stayed healthy in mind body, and spirit. I discussed pedagogy with a variety of teachers from different backgrounds" said Holly Houston, a veteran art teacher from Yarmouth Maine.
"The first morning of our conference we met in bathing su
its and snorkeled a shipwreck. I saw starfish, lobster, a stingray, got some morning exercise, and learned about the ecology of the area- even before introducing myself to the group" said a 4th year teacher at Berkshire School, who attended with a colleague.
There were 3 school systems that sent 2 teachers: The Hill Sc
hool in Pottstown, PA, Trinity College School in Ontario, Canada, Father Ryan School in Nashville, TN, and 3 teachers from the wider Grand Rapids public schools. Many of them came as a result of Island School parents promoting the opportunity.
Just like for every group of visitors, our Cape Eleuthera Institute researchers, staff, administrators, and Island School leadership got involved in all kinds of ways. In particular, participants lauded the
contributions of Island School alumni back on campus sharing their expertise. Stan Burnside, Fall '07 provided comic relief in between natural history, George Giannos, Fall '10 played the role of Dad, Alexio Brown, Fall '07 led the exploration of inland ponds, Mackey Violich, Spring '06 showed off her deep ocean bathynomis research, and Taylor Hoffman also Spring '06, as Director of Admissions, helped teachers see the student perspective.