We’re coming up on the end of August which means whether or not to reopen schools is the topic that is front and center for a great many people. This is a question that doesn’t really seem to have any good answers. What’s the best path to take?
I have a number of friends who teach in public schools. They’ve been describing the re-designs their classrooms have been going through. The administration has told them desks have to be placed six feet apart - even if that means some students won’t be able to see the blackboards from their designated spot. What a nightmare. But is there an alternative? Staying home isn’t sustainable. Going to school may not be safe.
Here’s an alternative. How about Forest schools. Don’t laugh. This is a really thing. I first heard about Forest Schools many years ago from this week’s guest, Kate Jackson. Kate is a teacher. I think as you listen to this podcast, you’ll very quickly discover that she is the teacher you wish you could have had in grade school. If you were very lucky you did indeed have someone very much like her.
Kate is also a climate activist and a horse owner. I met her through the clicker training clinics. In one of our many evening conversations, she talked about Forest Schools. The conversation stayed with me. When the corona virus closed schools, I started thinking more seriously about Forest Schools, especially when we started to hear that the risk of spreading the disease is lower outside.
So I have invited Kate to talk to us about Forest Schools - what are they, how do they work, where do they fit in a school program? Lots of questions. I’m sure, if you have children, you will have many more. And I suspect quite a few of you will be googling Forest Schools after you listen to this podcast.