I recently heard Fran Prolman compare Teachers to Superheroes as they take on many roles everyday in order to shape and change the lives of students. It made me smile at the time and I often think about this in my role as an Outdoor Learning Teacher. From building sheds to creating ponds, I have not only developed my teaching practice in the Outdoor Learning Environment, but I have gained knowledge and skills in many other areas too.
So, as the new school year begins, let’s take a moment to celebrate all the Outdoor Learning Superheroes, taking on the elements and inspiring children’s curiosity and love for nature. Whether you are a well-weathered superhero or are just starting your journey, you will know that you’re an Outdoor Learning Teacher when…
You’re a Gardener
You spend your free periods, evenings and weekends maintaining your learning space. Whether you’re the next Monty Don or doing just enough to keep your space alive, gardening is a continuous part of your job. From times of rapid growth, to times of drought and storms, the outdoor learning environment is continuously changing and gardening throughout the seasons is always full of challenges and surprises.
You’re a master craftsman… in the making
Gone are the days when you could walk past a skip full of wood without stopping for a peek. You have the DIY bug and can repurpose almost any materials to make tool tables, mud kitchens, and meeting areas to enhance your learning space.
You’re a Weather Forecaster
You check the weather more often than your social media. You know the risk you run when planning a lesson with chalk mid-September and spend the week checking, and re-checking, the weather to make sure that your lesson is not going to be a literal wash out.
You also play the role of weatherman/ woman for children everyday and have the superhero task of convincing 30 plus 6 year olds that “yes, you will need a raincoat today.”
You’re a Waste Disposal Technician
Without the luxury of daily cleaners, your garden waste quickly piles up and you now have a second career in waste disposal. You can often be seen, with a line of children, ferrying leaf bags to and from the bin store.
You’re an advocate for Outdoor Learning
You find yourself explaining what Outdoor Learning “actually means” every time you meet a new person. As it doesn’t fall neatly into one single subject that can be easily described, you spend time justifying the importance of Outdoor Learning, not only for students’ social and emotional well being but in regards to academic progress too.
So there you have it; five everyday additional tasks that make us Outdoor Learning Superheroes. So, grab your cape and show the world what you do.