James Thomson once asked the question, ” I know no subject more elevating, more amazing, more ready to the poetical enthusiasm, the philosophical reflection, and the moral sentiment than the works of nature. Where can we meet such variety, such beauty, such magnificence?” The answer, in my opinion, nowhere.
This past weekend I attended a conference called Children in Nature. We spent three fullfilling and inspiring days at the University of Santa Cruz. We took classes in the Arboretum, under trees and bamboo, learning about how important it is to connect children to nature.
This isn’t a new progressive approach to teaching, it is an ancient and native principal. Nature connection has been taught in tribes and indigenous villages all over the world. They have learned to respect it, take care of it and most of all learn from it. Every child should have this opportunity.
As and educator and a lover of nature, I am constantly wanting to learn and evolve. After this conference, I am able to come back with a rejuvenated sense of self and a ton of ideas for the classroom. I am looking forward to sharing these ideas with my team and the students.
“The future belongs to the nature smart.” -Richard Louv