Natural Classroom

Last Wednesday afternoon, I took my students out for the second half of the class that we devoted to group discussions and presentations. The afternoon class that I teach is in a small basement room with no window!

I was walking to my class after lunch with my coffee mug in hand (that’s certainly needed for an afternoon class) and I thought for a second that this is one of the most beautiful sunny afternoons of the first days of Autumn and I don’t want to miss it. I love teaching and I always try to have a fun class. But let’s be honest; it’s hard to sit in a class for two hours. Long classes need to be far more fun to be productive and useful. That’s why we design a lot of in-class activities involving group discussions and short hands-on experiments.

 Frontiers of Science students from my afternoon session discussing their scientific articles in different groups. @Columbia Campus somewhere between Pupin Hall and Northwest Corner Building.

Frontiers of Science students from my afternoon session discussing their scientific articles in different groups. @Columbia Campus somewhere between Pupin Hall and Northwest Corner Building.

No matter how fun the class is, there are days that you need to feel the breath of fresh air and the wind blowing in your hair. I always loved teachers who’d take us outside to sit on the green grasses and do the class work in nature during my teenage years. I still do.

Last Wednesday I realized I am now that teacher who has the authority to hold the class in a beautiful bright day! So I did, we went out for the second half of the class and we loved it!