Nothing beats getting outside! I went to a workshop one time and the facilitator got all of us to try and remember a favourite childhood memory. After hearing the stories from the participants, the connection was made to the fact that ninety percent of these memories involved the outdoors. When I think of a special moment in my childhood, rarely does it involve me sitting in front of the TV. Instead it’s the times I spent outside playing; tobaganning down the snowy hill in front of my house, catching ladybugs off the tree in my yard, playing ‘Kick-the-Can’ with the neighbourhood children. It is these moments that stand out to me, the ones I can taste, hear and feel! It’s the moments which come back to you when you smell something familiar, like the smell after a rainfall.
#OutdoorClassDay was introduced to me by a colleague who was passionate about getting kids outdoors. In fact, it was one of my mentors who opened my eyes to environmental education. As our friendship and working relationship evolved over the years I worked with him, I came to see outdoor education with a whole new lens. Just getting children to ‘look closely’ and notice the natural environment around them brings in a deeper level of wonder and awe.
I’ve been participating in #OutdoorClassDay ever since I became aware of it. However, it is only one out of the other 180 (give or a take a few) teaching days I choose to make outdoor learning happen for my students.