By Janet, Mom of a Grade 3 Student
My daughter just participated in the Big House trip. I just wanted to share some feedback with you about her experience.
Based on the stories and experiences she shared with our family after she got back from Big House, I can confidently say this was an incredible learning opportunity for her and that the learning was very “sticky” because of the experiential education involved. My daughter was very nervous about going to Big House – she talked about it over Spring Break and was very nervous the morning that they left.
When she came back and told us about her experience – learning Squamish, being part of the Cedar working family, sleeping in the Big House, eating Bannock, learning about bats and night vision, doing chores (and what the best and the worst chores were). Her new name “Young Eagle” (she can’t remember the First Nations name, but she remembers some other words and traditions – like the talking stick and how to respond when you’re ready to listen). How it rained, but it was kind of sunny and just sprinkled most of Monday – about sleeping on the platform in big house in the rain, and being at the fire in Big House…….All of that from a quiet girl who was very nervous about this experience.
I want to say how much I appreciate this opportunity for really deep learning. This is a kind of learning you don’t get in the classroom. It’s deep, thoughtful, sticky learning that will resonate with her probably throughout her life. She seemed to come back a little wiser, a little more independent.
I understand how much work an experience like this is to coordinate. I am very appreciative of the commitment from the North Vancouver School District to support this learning and this experience for the Grade 3’s at Big House in Squamish. I also appreciate your work in making this happen. And I wanted to share how valuable I think it is based on my daughter’s experience.
Thank you very much for your part in making this happen. I knew it was probably going to be a great learning experience for my daughter – but I really underestimated how valuable it was and the depth of her learning and growing as a result.