Grade Four students at the Waldorf School of Baltimore learned all about Maryland’s rich history and beautiful typography back in the Fall during a local geography block. They remember well that St. Mary’s city consists of a tidewater peninsula bordered by the Patuxent River to the northeast, Chesapeake Bay to the east, the Potomac River to the south, and the Wicomico River to the west. They recall easily that St Mary’s was Maryland’s first European settlement and was built on the site of a Secowocomoco Indian village. But it is only now, after returning from their culminating curricular trip to this historic site, do they not simply remember, but truly know.
At Waldorf, class trips revisit and round out studies with contextual knowledge and lived experience. It was in that spirit that Grade Four and Class Teacher Sharon Polchies embarked on a multi-day curricular class trip to Historic St. Mary’s City, an outdoor museum of living history and archaeology. Here they saw firsthand the richness of the land that the first settlers so coveted, climbed aboard a reconstructed tall ship, stepped into a mid-1600s style tobacco farm with animals, and swapped stories around a working printing press before returning to their camp site and sleeping under the stars.
At the Waldorf School of Baltimore, learning is so much more than words on the page. It’s the smell of fire burning in a Woodland Indian Hamlet. It’s stepping on board a ship and finding your sea legs. It’s viewing the vastness of waters mapped back in the classroom with your own eyes while the wind whips at your face. And if you ask our students, it really is a wonderful way to learn and grow.