THE SEEDLING: The Outdoor Classroom Blog
July 25, 2014
BEGINNINGS…Welcome to Outdoor-Classrooms.com
WELCOME to my virtual home. Take a look around. There is a lot to explore and so much more to come.
A little story of how this virtual outdoor classroom came to be….It all started with the creation of the Cove School Children’s garden and observing classroom teachers’ curiosity about how to connect our Outdoor Classroom to their curriculum. Bewildered by a handful of missed opportunities, I learned that if we want our outdoor classrooms to truly make a difference in our community, we need to support our teachers and find a way to make it easy for them to combine these outdoor classroom experiences into our state curriculum standards. I learned that unless the Outdoor Classroom was connected to the required curriculum, this amazing resource we call an Outdoor Classroom, was just a nice place to visit.
My “curious teachers” and “missed opportunities” observations swirled around as I continued to give workshops on Nature-Based curriculum. I found more and more teachers seeking tools, strategies, and tips for teaching outside. At the same time, I continued to feel there was a missing link. Everyone was working in isolation of each other. This planted another seed.
In the meantime, I became obsessed with researching outdoor curriculum ideas and studies on the benefits of nature. I continue to turn my own backyard into an “outdoor learning lab”, and I began researching how to teach on-line. I started infusing “green curriculum” into my courses at North Shore Community College and was inspired by how these students embraced the material. More seeds planted.
I began asking questions: WHAT IF…
….every school had an outdoor learning lab?
….every teacher was trained in “green curriculum” and had a foundation of “nature-based teaching”?
….every child had access to an outdoor classroom and children’s garden?
…..edible landscapes, community collaborations and thinking and teaching outside is the norm?
Here is what I know for sure: we need to teach our children to become stewards of our environment to make sure the next generation will take care of it, and do this while connecting our generations and creating healthy communities.
Come join our online community and our virtual classroom where teachers, parents, and educators all over the world can join and share their own stories. Explore and find resources, tips, and inspiration on Nature-Based Teaching. What I have learned is that there are no two gardens or classrooms alike. Yet, the outcomes of spending time in nature are the same.