These two articles are great reminders of why nature and the outdoors are so important for children's learning.
I challenge us as educators to consider;
- how do we provide children essential experiences for learning through nature?
- can we increase our students' exposure to nature by creating lessons and learning experiences regularly in our local area, for example, down at the beach, or at Centennial park or at the Randwick Environmental Wetlands and Centre?
- Can we bring nature to learning at our school?
- can we make the most of the views that we have?
- how do we improve our Outdoor Education program
- How do we learn from local Indigenous Australians and their heritage about our place here by the sea?
- How do we bring nature to project based learning - there should be no surprises that children love animals and nature and many are wired to be fascinated and want to discover and investigate.
- explore connections between nature, conservation, stewardship, relationships, people and Christian Education …it all connects so beautifully!
I have two wonderful books on my shelf that I cannot recommend highly enough, called;
'Toxic Childhood: How our modern world is damaging our children and what we can do about it.' (2007) by Sue Palmer http://www.suepalmer.co.uk/modern_childhood_books_toxic_childhood.php
'Last Child Into the Woods: Saving our children from nature deficit disorder' by Richard Louv (2010) - now considered to be a modern classic!
Go and get your hands dirty and plant a tree, or go for a walk on the beach. Nature is good for us grown ups too!
As I read this short article this morning, I was challenged and encouraged.
If there is something I can reflect on and be proud of is that I do take risks in my leadership. I get into trouble for it, and I don't always get it right, and I certainly have upset people at all levels of stakeholders from time to time. Most of the educational risks I make come from those hunches based on the best days of my professional career - being a classroom teacher! I miss the kids in my class...but now in my role as Principal, I just have a very big class of 365 kids I suppose. I am their advocate.
Thank you for your support in helping me and us, to achieve great things for our school. From this article ‘Defining Teacher Leadership’ I really like the notion that teachers are leaders in the classroom. I love too, that we lead students by modelling risk taking. I certainly love this quote…
that we're wrestling with leadership for one reason--to increase student learning and achievement.
I also like the thought (not mentioned in the article) that risk taking and prayer must go hand in hand...commit your ways to the Lord. We may still make mistakes but God always has our back, especially when we seek Him and follow His leading!
Have a great day everyone.
What’s my story as an educator?
I am a primary teacher, school principal and educator who strives to be the very best that I can be... authentic, appreciative, positive and enthusiastic. To inspire the lives of others with faith, hope and love, and to bring out the best in all people, especially the staff and children at my school. I work hard to create a caring, vibrant and creative school so that students are set up for success, academically and as healthy, happy, flourishing kids, now and in the future.
I’m passionate about the environment and my community (locally and globally) and respecting all people, that as we live, work and learn together, we find our place and purpose, making the world a happier, fairer and better place for all.
My professional interests include educational leadership, understanding and growing healthy school culture, the alignment of the architecture and design of schools, classrooms and learning spaces with pedagogy, future schools thinking, educating kids in poverty, disability and environmental education…just a few things!
My spare time is a filled with a combination of serving at church, time with my family, gardening, gym, friends and working hard to set up schools (small classes really) and community development in Kotdwara, a small town in North India. I visit Kotdwara once a year and am also blessed to also have the opportunity to help train and mentor teachers in Mumbai at www.visionrescue.co.in -these guys do an amazing job.
If you would like to connect with me, and share your story and learning… follow my blogs, twitter, linked in and Instagram, or be in touch. I’d love to hear from you.