There has never been a better time to consider teaching outside. With the need for social distancing and many schools utilizing a hybrid teaching model, outdoor spaces can offer peace of mind as well as numerous learning benefits. However, teaching outside can also present some challenges.Here are just a few tips:
- Most of students’ time spent outside while at school is at recess, so don’t be surprised if the first time you take your students outside they are a bit rambunctious.
- Set clear expectations before going outside and remind students that this is class, not recess.
- Allow a few minutes for exploration before expecting students to focus on the lesson.
- Set clear boundaries where students are allowed to be. Have a call back signal when you want them to return to you or get their attention. (I use a wolf call – Go Wolfpack!)
- Don’t expect your first attempt to be perfect, this is a learning curve for all.
Stick with it and you may find yourself wondering why you haven’t done this sooner. If you are interested in finding more ways to utilize the outdoor classroom or would like to create some outdoor learning spaces, feel free to reach out. We are here to help. We are also available to work one on one with teachers in their garden space, masked and socially distanced, of course.