In order to promote conservation in our world, we have a huge challenge to face in spreading awareness. Our world is filled with so many different facets that soak up our attention: celebrity headlines, political instabilities, social media posts, the quest for ‘likes’, pursuing competitive careers, and our own daily responsibilities.
In this fast paced world, it can seem impossible to fight for the broader public to get viewing time of environmental issues.
To combat this problem, we must spark curiosity to get people to notice more of the world around us and to connect to the emotions to bring about a true sense of caring. Building this emotional and personal connection to nature sometimes is the only way to truly change minds and promote change.
In the words of famous conservationist David Attenborough, “No one will protect what they do not care about, and no one will care about what they have never experienced”.
One way that I work to promote conservation every day is through education. As an elementary science teacher, I am able to build a strong foundation in science knowledge amongst my students.
One important piece of science education is the connection that the students make between their learning in class and what is actually going on in the world around them. Not only is this a helpful strategy to combat the “so what” mentality that so often permeates our culture – this strategy often sparks a fire of curiosity in my students and pushes them to spread this sense of care to others.
I remember one of my first days teaching: we were walking along the creek that runs behind our school and I just could not get over my own curiosity of this amazing creek. Many thoughts rushed through my head about what that creek contains, but the students just looked at me with blank stares that divulged their opinion that it’s “just a creek”.
However, as time went on they started to feed off my own curiosity and ask more questions about the creek. Slowly they started to notice creek water levels, ask about what lives in the water, and report animal sightings seen just as they were walking by.