Spring into Life
Even with a few snow showers at the end of April, the weather is getting sunnier and warmer. I don't know about you, but my spirit gets sunnier this time of year too! I love to look for signs of life beginning again in the forest, vernal pools, rivers, ponds, fields, and even in my own backyard. Every new growing thing excites me. Each morning before work, I walk my yard looking at the growing things and every day when I get home, I do it again. The seedlings I'm nurturing inside my house are growing by leaps and bounds. Spring is here, though it comes on slowly at first in New England.
How do we share this joy with our students? Especially the ones that are continuing to learn from home?
I think the simple-ist way to do this is to find joy in the natural world yourself and allow that joy to spill over into your teaching, into your curriculum, into your lives! Be intentional about sharing what you are noticing with your students and asking them what they are noticing too. Allow them to reflect on the way they feel before, during, and after they are noticing things grow and come alive again.
Creating a nature journal that is used at a sit spot or observation spot is another way to be intentional about noticing, wondering, and reflecting. Especially, when journaling routines and/or prompts are used. Joy can come from a one time observation, but I find even more joy in consistent observation over the seasons. Watching things change over time leads to questions and questions can lead to discoveries. Discoveries can lead to more joy!
Spending time outdoors, even a little bit everyday is good for mind and body. Nature has proven to be a place of healing for most people. A place for centering one's self in the midst of chaos. A place of peace. A place of inspiration.
I encourage you to spend 10-15 minutes outside each day and see what it does for you. Then, share that with your students, your family, your friends.