There isn’t enough time for place-based education projects.
- Take on a small discreet service learning project in a neighbor close to school
- Do not try to change the school schedule first to accommodate your PBE project; it’s very hard to do. Work within the existing schedule then use the results of your project as evidence that you need more time or need a schedule change.
- Make a list, prioritize, then do one high priority project at a time.
- Apply for coordinated course times.
- Schedule field trip days far in advance so teachers know students will be gone.
- At the beginning of the term set aside a bi-weekly field trip day by department for community projects.
Work in teacher planning and preparation time
- Plan a PBE planning party in summer at the local swimming hole and include co-workers. Take notes!
- Make PBE projects student-driven: pick something that students can plan with minimum guidance.
- Create a position to facilitate planning, integration and community coordination of PBE and other experiential education projects.
- Budget money for a common teacher planning time in the summer.
- Build release time into grants to fund subs for planning time.
- Collaborate with parents and other community people for planning support.
Allow time to coordinate with community members
- Use regular school open house events to inform and involve the community.
- Multi-task! For example, talk with parents on the sidelines at a sports game.
- Create a volunteer position for a parent to be your community liaison and coordinator.
Work to reform class schedules
- Be sensitive to other demands on student time—like sports.
- Create a long block early in the morning or right before lunch so that you can extend your class time without stepping on toes.
- Find the disciplines in the school (e.g., ecology) where you can most easily demonstrate an interdisciplinary approach.