The Power of the Outdoors

A traditional classroom is seen as a room with four fixed walls, desks, books, manipulatives, educational supplies etc… Imagine the enthusiasm running through your students as they scoop, lift and observe the life in that small stream or the piece of art coming to life as they sit and sketch the wonderful scenery that surrounds them from nature’s canvass in the fall.  Nature and the natural wonders of the world opens up options to both the students and the teacher as they ask questions and experience the process of discovering how the world around them works.

Outdoor education is more than just visiting a local conservation area or board run program. Outdoor education is making use of the local parks, school yard playgrounds, school gardens or any natural area that is connected to the lives of your students. Developing an awareness of their environment and just how precious their day-to-day lifestyle habits are must be experienced and not just observed or researched. Over the many years of my career I have learned just how powerful the outdoors can be as witnessed in the level of engagement and the quality of the work produced by my students. You belong outdoors!


The Author

Mike Beetham

I am currently entering my 32nd year of teaching and work with the Waterloo Region District School Board in an area behaviour class. I am actively involved with ETFO at both the local and provincial level. My passions are my family, teaching, the outdoors and personal fitness.

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