Teacher Champion - Tracy Wright
In this issue of our BCAITC Teacher Champion series, we profile BC teacher Tracy Wright. Discover her passion for educating students about BC agriculture, food, and the environment.
Q: What school do you teach at? A: I teach at Chantrell Creek Elementary in Surrey.
Q: What grade(s) do you teach? A: This year I have a grade 2/3 class and I have been teaching grade 3 or a combination with grade 3 students for about 25 years.
Q: How and when did you first learn about BCAITC? A: I do not remember when I first learned about BCAITC, but I have enjoyed learning about the organization over the years.
Q: How long have you been teaching students about BC agriculture and food? A: I have been growing things in pots outside of our classroom for over 15 years. A few years ago, we had a parent at our school who was passionate about teaching kids about growing food, and he was able to secure donations of wood and soil, and then built 6 raised beds at our school.
Before COVID-19, I did quite a bit of cooking with my students. The students were so proud to share the items they had made with their classmates.
Each September, I take my students on a field trip to a local community garden, where I have a plot. The students go on a scavenger hunt with a parent supervisor. They have a great time identifying the fruits, vegetables, and flowers that are growing.
Q: What are the most important things that you want your students to learn about BC agriculture and food? A: I want students to see where food comes from besides a grocery store. I hope that they feel brave about trying new foods that they have grown.
Q: BCAITC has over 500 free downloadable resources including lesson plans, activities, videos, recipes, and more! What is your favourite BCAITC resource and why? A: I have used the Fresh Story resources with my students. There is so much great information and fantastic visuals for my younger students. Our school participates in the BC School Fruit and Vegetable Nutritional Program, and the Fresh Story resources help the students understand more about what they are eating.
Q: What is your favourite BCAITC program and why? A: My students and I love Spuds in Tubs. When the students return from Spring Break, it is like magic to them to see the amount of growth that has taken place in the tubs during the two weeks since they planted those little spuds. But the best part is listening to the squeals of delight when we start digging into the tubs to find the potatoes at harvesting time. A few years ago, I had a student who had only been in our class for a few months. He was new to Canada and had very little English. When we pulled out the potatoes, all that could be heard was “Potato! Potato! Potato!” He definitely learned a new word that day!
Q: What is an agriculture or food-based project you have recently implemented in your classroom? A: We recently went on a tour of Save-On-Foods with a registered dietician who talked about the food groups. This was a great introduction to healthy eating, and how to read labels on products. This will be a great starting point as we continue learning about healthy living. We have also planted daffodil bulbs that we received for the Planting a Promise program.
Q: Do you have any advice for other educators on how to integrate agriculture and food education into their curriculum? A: Start small…perhaps growing in the classroom. Kids are fascinated with caring for other living things. Apply for as many BCAITC programs as you can.
About the Teacher Champion Series: This monthly BCAITC series features BC teachers and school staff who are passionate about providing agriculture and food education to K-12 students. For more information, contact our Communications Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org.