This year I’ve started a new job at a school blessed with a beautiful and vast forest outside our front door. One day a week we spend the whole morning playing out in the forest. In these forest school sessions, I’ve watched the children develop resilience, gross motor coordination, camaraderie, and connection to and love for the natural world.
I was born and raised in Alaska and grew up playing in the wilderness. However, my formal education took place in a classroom. I had never before had the opportunity to take a large group of children into the wild.
I asked our outdoor education specialist teacher, what the role of the teacher in forest school is. She informed:
-Interfere as minimally as possible, and only to briefly point out something interesting or wonderful.
-Model behavior or a skill.
-Ensure the children’s safety.
Following her advice, I am loving forest school this year. Mother Earth takes over the education of the children, and I can relax and renew in her grace.