Outdoor Teacher Retreat


Mass Audubon's Boston Nature Center & Wildlife Sanctuary
500 Walk Hill St, Mattapan, MA 02126

About this Nature-Based Training    

You can expect a hands-on day of outdoor fun in nature! Presenters share insights and activities based on their work in nature preschools, forest kindergartens, or other nature-based programs.

Training is ideal for educators working with children ages 3-8 years old. Attendees join from all kinds of early learning settings - from nature-based programs and schools to traditional public schools, childcare centers, daycare, HeadStart, and home school settings.  Light breakfast and lunch are included on Saturday, but bring your canteen for drinks.

In addition to a wonderful slate of workshops, our hosts at the Boston Nature Center and Pathways to Nature Preschool will open up their preschool to preview their indoor learning environments, and we will have plenty of time to explore the wildlife sanctuary and grounds.

We would like to extend a special thank you to our partners at the Nature Center Preschool at the South Shore Natural Science Center and Pathways to Nature Preschool for making this Outdoor Teacher Retreat possible!

This training is pending MA training approval. ERAFANS will provide a professional development certificate at the conclusion of the event. Please dress for the weather, as at least 50% of this event will take place outdoors, and don't forget your canteen!

Workshop Descriptions  

Keynote: Mary Cowhey
School to Farm to Community: A Journey Towards Teaching Critically and Sustainably, with Equity and Diversity in Mind

Mary Cowhey describes her teaching journey with young children and their families, intertwined with community organizing.  She describes projects that braid partnerships between teachers, parents, students, local farmers, public health advocates and a variety of community organizations to tackle issues of race, class and access to healthy food.  These include bringing students and families into the school garden, into community gardens on onto local farms, out to farmers markets and then bringing mobile markets and subsidized farm shares into neighborhoods and the school.  Mary Cowhey shares lessons learned through years of community organizing: building relationships, listening to families to identify needs and brainstorm solutions, learning from success and challenge, developing community leaders, exploring power and privilege, and tapping  into the wisdom and experience of families.

More workshop highlights include sessions from Pathways to Nature Preschool, Drumlin Farm Community Preschool, Pollywogs Nature Playschool, Sassafras Earth Education, and the Mission Hill School. Complete schedule coming soon!

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