There’s nothing like more than a year of pandemic learning to make us examine past practices and consider better and healthier ways! One change your school might consider is making a purposeful effort to take learning outside. In the report “Back to School: Back Outside” (Kevin J. Coyle, National Wildlife Federation, 2010), research shows how a “green hour” built into classroom routines has a positive impact on students’ focus, attitude toward work, behavior, connections with others, and even standardized test scores. Take a look around your campus. Are there natural settings on the grounds? Is there space for a garden? Are there parks within walking distance? What happens to student learning and retention when teachers say, “I have this great math lesson on finding slope…now how can I take it outside?” Even small steps have a great impact on the quality of students’ lives, including their academic success. Consider how can you help students become their best selves by letting nature be their classroom.
Find more ideas and resources for supporting students in the outdoors at Outdoor Schools Washington, an affiliate of AWSP and the Washington School Principals’ Education Foundation.