Picturing Myself as a Natural Teacher
A Reflective Exercise
Are we training our teachers to be Natural Teachers? Are teachers imagining themselves teaching Outdoors as much as they are Indoors. Are schools embracing Outdoor Spaces as places to learn?
I teach teachers. The “Picturing Myself as a Teacher,” is the first assignment in my Foundations of Early Childhood class at North Shore Community College. In the original assignment, students were asked to imagine that they have been teachers for three years. Then they were asked to draw themselves teaching young children using pencils and crayons, and a sheet of 12X18 drawing paper. The assumption was to draw an indoor classroom. They are to think about the following questions as they draw and write:
- Where is the school?
- What are the ages and kinds of children?
- What grade are you teaching?
- How is your indoor classroom set up?
- Where are you and what are you doing in the picture?
- What is your role in the classroom?
- What are you teaching? How are you teaching it?
For many of my young students, this was the first time ever thinking about designing an ideal classroom. It is a critical time to expand out thinking and teaching practices to include the concept of Outdoor Classrooms. Imagine the possibilities for your own outdoor classrooms. This is the first step on our reflective journey to becoming Natural Teachers.
Now think about your Outdoor Classroom.
- How is your Outdoor Classroom set up?
- What is your role as a Natural Teacher? Does it feel different?
- How would you teach your lesson indoors/outdoors and how would you expand the lesson outdoors/indoors?
I am eager to tap into your own process of “Becoming a Natural Teacher” and invite you to think about the following questions: Was it difficult to imagine your own outdoor classroom? Was if fun? Inspiring? Did you have any prior knowledge or experience with outdoor classrooms to draw upon? How did you decide what to include?
Now it is your turn. Share your reflections and pictures in the comment section below.