A national speaker series featured two of the District’s very own: teacher Clifton Huxtable from the Burnaby Youth Hub and his student Izzy, along with headliner speaker Angela Duckworth – a psychologist, author and founder of a non-profit to advance scientific insights that help youth thrive.
The series was hosted by Outward Bound Canada. In the discussion both Mr Huxtable and Izzy shared student learnings about everything from grit, resilience and mindfulness to the benefits of connection between students and their peers. Izzy also explained how her own learnings have supported her ability to weather the impact of living through a pandemic.
Outward Bound partners with the District’s Learning Pathways programs in Burnaby. Mr. Huxtable has been doing the outdoor wilderness experiences with his students since 2017.
The best conversations I’ve had, and experiences I’ve had with most of my students have been on our Outward Bound trips… It’s just the organic nature by which some of the challenges we face together… You see the open communication, you see the connections that form after that.”
Students in the Youth Hub program can earn credits toward high school graduation through the outdoor experience. The Hub, itself, provides wrap-around support to help students be successful in their academics, socially and emotionally. Teaching staff use a variety of approaches to engage students including Outward Bound trips, which teach participants how to use mindfulness within the context of a physically and mentally challenging backpacking expeditions.
Izzy has done the trip three times:
I know that after each one of these trips, I’ve come back happier, more confident in my abilities, and just in myself in general… The types of connections you can make on those kind of trips is absolutely irreplaceable. And I never would have learned the things I’ve learned about myself or about my peers without this…and without it, this pandemic stuff would have been a lot harder for me.”
When taking students on the trip, teachers’ objectives are to build a strong sense of self and community through active and authentic experiences that foster academics, a celebration of diversity, and personal growth using an integrated adventure-oriented delivery.
Rocky Mountain expedition – photo from Outward Bound website
Posted June 2020