The role of the educator in Forest School is much more akin to that of a mentor than to that of a typical teacher. Forest School educators observe and interact with children in order to discern the edges of their comforts and knowledge. When needed, we are there to offer a pathway to deepen the learning experience. We ask questions to draw out what the child already knows and what they want to know. We may offer guidance in the form of a field guide, knot, or tool. Our most important role as educators is to trust children to follow their own train of thought. We look to push the child without them ever feeling our hand; stretching their awareness while leaving them the freedom to call a pond the ocean or a rock a mountain.
Educators assess learning and development by recording children’s observations and actions on paper and in photos. We are also in charge of providing a safe physical and emotional environment for the group.
West Coast Forest School is owned and operated by Andrew Bond. Andrew is a certified Forest School practitioner and elementary school teacher in School District 61. He has also trained at the Wilderness Awareness School in nature mentoring for children. Andrew is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to nature-based games and activities but still strongly believes in the importance and power of freely chosen, child-led, safe play in nature. He is assembling a team of experienced educators and nature enthusiasts to help him in the work of getting kids outside and connecting to nature as often as possible. If you are interested in joining the team or connecting to this vision in any way please Contact us.