In my trajectory as a garden educator, interpreter, and teacher, I've found a couple of basic truths. (I had a lovely experience this morning doing a program for 20 graduating Master Naturalists at the Garden).
It's not about the information, rather it's about connection.
It's about engagement, not content.
It's not about what you know, but how you teach.
And taking advantage of teachable moments, where ever they happen is key.
We saw a Cooper's Hawk today in our morning walk, probably
attracted by migrants coming through the Garden. I certainly hadn't seen
one in the Garden before. It first sat on a fence rail above the Duck
Pond and then swooped below one of the ginkgoes up the slope, trying to
nab something beneath a Salvia clump.
We couldn't see if the hawk was successful, but s/he then perched on top of a nearby sign for awhile.
A teachable moment, for sure. I wouldn't have known that it was a
Cooper's Hawk, but a naturalist (Tim Lee) from a local state park was part of our
group (he's one of the regular teachers). He knew. So I was able to look up more information from the field guide apps on my iPad, etc.