Dorothy Boddy's Learning Story


I am a teacher in a Title I school in Phoenix. For the past six years, I have been able to raise the funds to take some of my students to the Grand Canyon to take a class called “Dynamic Earth.” It is taught by the Park Rangers, who specifically deal with education and align the trips to the Arizona State Standards. Many of these students have never been out of their neighborhoods.
When we get to the Flagstaff area and view the San Francisco Peaks (our tallest mountains — over 12,000 feet), my students are so excited. Last year there was a thin layer of snow at the rest area. Many had never seen snow. They ran and jumped around it until we had to get back on the bus. Their first view of the canyon was like watching children on Christmas morning or some other special occasion.The Rangers took us to a fossil bed a 1/4 mile down. They all learned that this area was once an ocean. They also learned the types of animals that lived in the ocean. Next, they hiked along the rim and learned the layers of the Canyon. The Rangers teach them the environmental part as well. How important it is for them and future generations to take care of this precious part of our Earth.
The final part of the workshop is to sit quietly and reflect on the Canyon. The students get to draw a picture or write a poem or just their thoughts. I feel so very fortunate to be able to be a part of this. When they get back to school, they have writing, science, social studies, and reading experiences to build on. I have past students tell me every year about their favorite part. They also ask me if I am going to take more students this year.
Fieldtrips like this are being taken away from our students. We cannot allow that to happen. These wonderful trips give many of these students possibilities in their lives.