Forest School Educators Coming Up!
CBEEN is supporting Kyoko Connie (Nelson) and Victoria Read (Fernie) in completing the “Forest and Nature School Practitioner Course” offered through Child and Nature Alliance of Canada. The year-long online course started with a week-long in-person portion which was held at the Outdoor Connections Forest School in Fernie, BC, this past May.
Kyoko had this to say about her experience in Fernie, and her continuing journey of completing the self-directed learning online:
The Forest and Nature school practitioner’s course is a rich, place-based program that incorporates skills with theory, pedagogy, reflection, and land connection. I was grateful for the teaching received from the Ktunaxa knowledge keepers, the program facilitators, and my fellow participants. This program has strengthened my practice in outdoor education, environmental inquiry, play-based learning, and classroom management/community building. I will continue this course to become certified and continue to deepen my skill set and knowledge to incorporate forest school practices into my teaching.
And this is what Victoria had to say about the course thus far:
As I continue my work as a forest school facilitator, I am grateful for the skills and knowledge I gained during the in-person portion of this course. I feel I now have a stronger connection to the land, improved reflective practice and an even better understanding of the benefits of risky play. I also feel that I have more confidence in storytelling and the language that I use while interacting with children in a natural setting when risky play is present. I know this training experience I was able to participate in will not only be helpful in my work at Outdoor Connections Forest School but also in any interaction I have as I work with children and families throughout my future career and personal life. I also feel extremely grateful for the connections I was able to make with the other course participants and will appreciate our collaboration moving forward!
Moving forward, I hope to practice what I learned during this professional development opportunity in my role as a forest school facilitator. Firstly, I look forward to helping the children understand about the Ktunaxa people and the history of the land that they have the privilege to play on. This might look like incorporating a land acknowledgement into the program or having a Ktunaxa individual visit our forest school. I also plan to bring more storytelling with natural materials to our program in Fernie and an opportunity for the children to participate in the storytelling through interaction. In order to build on my reflection skills, I am thinking about providing some more documentation for parents that demonstrate their child’s learning and how forest school promotes growth and development.