At our July Staff Meeting on July 17, 2019 staff participated in both individual and group reflection- sharing insights on the book Heart-Centered Teaching Inspired by Nature by Nancy Rosenow. Each group read and shared on one chapter of the book, bringing together a lot of great information and inspiration.
Here is a very brief summary of the insights that were shared…
Beginning Thoughts: Lessons from a Begonia- Where there is a will, there is a way! Living things naturally seek out what they need to survive. If you push through trials and reach far enough, you will eventually reach the light.
Chapter 1: Preparing the Soil- You have to really enjoy the world around you to be able to encourage children to do the same. Teach through positive examples and always practice what you preach!
Chapter 2: Nurturing Strong Roots- Make peace with your past and clear old “rules” and expectations to help create room for new stronger, positive roots. Keep yourself grounded with the strong roots of self-nurturing and self-understanding to be able to help children and share empathy with others.
Chapter 3: Using Effective Gardening Tools- Re-connect with nature and use gratitude daily. You can always grow to be better- at any age. Take the time to enjoy and appreciate the things, world and people around you- it renews your physical energy and emotional outlooks.
Chapter 4: Letting Ourselves Bloom- Slow down. It's not always about trying to reach the next step, but rather learning to love and embrace the here and now. Everyone has their own unique talents that deserve to be appreciated- allow children and yourselves to "bloom" in your own way!
Chapter 5: Understanding Seeds- Different seeds need different care (just like children). We must support the miracle and genius of each child and caregiver and what unique abilities all bring to each classroom. We must model love and acceptance and become loving and accepting of others. Unconditional positive regard, authentic praise and inspiration are all essential!
Chapter 6: Celebrating Seasons- Worry and challenge are a part of human condition, but we need to help children see that effort and hard work are energizing and important parts of life. This is most effective when balancing the efforts with rest and recovery. Using the outdoors is the perfect venue to do this.
Chapter 7: Enjoying Caretaking- Giving children the opportunity to care for nature will teach them to care for and build trust in themselves. Caretaking can be healing.
Chapter 8: Weathering Storms- Nothing ever dies, it just changes into something else and stays with you in a new way. You will inevitably come in contact with “storms” and realities, but doing so in nature helps build a better understanding of the way this works.
Final Thoughts: Lessons from a Sequoia- Sequoias fare best when they support each other- just as we as humans do! Heart-centered educators know how to ask for and offer help to others. Every generation has a responsibility to pass on to the next the inspiration found in nature… the work we do is important. Be more like a sequoia!
This book embodies everything that we imagined when we created our World of Wonder Summer Program. The title itself is so important- please remember to always lead and teach with your heart first and foremost! It isn’t always about what activities you do, but how you put your heart into it, how you care deeply and genuinely about yourself and the children in your class, and how you believe in and empower the children you teach. I wish I would’ve found this book beforehand so that we could have used it right away in building the program, but I am still excited nonetheless to have found it and have shared it with all of you! I hope you enjoyed your chapters and that you get a chance to read through the remaining chapters, too, there are so many valuable words of wisdom contained in these pages that each of us could learn tremendously from <3
Below is the link to the full text. You may read this book to earn additional continuing ed hours beyond the 0.5 hours earned for reading your assigned chapter.
This continuing ed opportunity is for both new staff that were not in attendance as well as staff that attended the meeting and would like additional hours.
Continuing Ed Opportunity
To earn continuing ed hours, please complete the following for each chapter...
Summarize the chapter in your own words, sharing what it meant to you
Share your favorite line / quote from the chapter
What is the biggest take-a-way or piece of advice from this chapter that you would share with other teachers?
For the book...
In a short narrative, please share how you will take what you've learned / read in this book and apply it in your life at home and in your teaching in your classroom.
Has this book made an impact on you? Explain.
Happy Reading! <3