Becoming A Natural Teacher: My Story
A TEACHER FROM THE BEGINNING….
As a child, I was the kid who played endless hours of “school” with my little chalkboard and classroom of imaginary students. Family vacations became opportunities to take my whimsical school on a wild adventure and long field trips.
Needless to say, I spent the beginning of my career as an early childhood professional teaching young children. Real ones, that is. I then ventured into different teaching arenas, with different populations. I taught children, young adults, elders, able-bodied, physically challenged, emotionally disabled and elderly blind. I taught in preschools, after-school programs, centers for elderly, nursing homes for Alzheimer’s patients, children’s gardens, college campuses, and summer camps.
WOULDN’T IT BE GREAT IF?
As my teaching journey evolved, I began mixing and matching my passions. I am always anticipating, imagining and peering over the horizon, fascinated with the future. Starting unique programs became my signature. A dance program for elderly blind seniors at Boston Aid to the Blind was a favorite. When I noticed an elementary school across the street, I added an intergenerational element. Children and elders laughing and dancing together sparked magical learning. I was hooked. I began mixing and matching my passions, creating one of a kind programs everywhere I went. Through these experiences, I have felt my once imaginary whimsical school come to life.
LIFE LESSONS ALONG THE WAY…
Transformative adventures are great for creating life-long lessons. Looking back, the highlights have been running the Boston Marathon 11 times as a “back of the pack” runner, biking across the country with Bike Aid, raising money for world hunger, and getting married in our backyard garden. These were all adventures that taught me about courage, taking risks and daring greatly.
BECOMING A NATURAL TEACHER…..WHAT IF?
As a parent of young school-aged children, I wondered about the possibilities in a neglected school courtyard at my children’s school. What if? What if we transformed this space into an outdoor learning lab? I became obsessed with researching the idea and I organized a community of parents, teachers, and children. We began digging and created what is now the Cove School Children’s Garden & Outdoor Classroom. This experience transformed my teaching journey and was the beginning of my road map to Become a Natural Teacher.
I fell in love with Outdoor Classrooms! I wanted to create a space for all those interested in teaching and learning outside. I wanted to create a space for educators to go for inspiration, connection, and direction on how to “think outside” when teaching.
When my children graduated from elementary school, so did I. They went on to middle school while I founded Outdoor-Classroom.com, my virtual classroom and an online community of Natural Teachers! This work has challenged me as an educator and taught me to be a forever student.
Come join me in my quest to re-ignite teachers to reset and nurture the concept of teaching outdoors.
Master Class #2: Ready, Set, Sow: Become a Natural Teacher is Open for Registration!! Revitalize, Renew and Refresh Your Teaching Practice Today!
Class starts on March 4, 2019