In my 12 years of teaching I have taught children about kindness, acts of kindness, how to be kind, probably hundreds of times and always I did it inside. Never once did I think to take it outside or to use something that is so giving, kind and respectful to us, yet asks for nothing back. You guessed it, nature! My teacher transformation from indoor-technology loving teacher to the outdoor-nature loving teacher makes me reflect heavily on this.
I always felt when I taught children about kindness, they listened but it was hard for them to understand because it was not actually happening. The Muddy Puddle Teacher Approach still continues to amaze me of its benefits and allowing children to feel and be kind is one of them simply by using natural resources outside and in. Each lesson actually becomes a conversation of kindness as we use our sticks to read or the stones to learn new vocabulary because the children are respecting them. Over time I have found this builds up. When once the children ran past the tree at playtimes there now looking at it, giving it a name, recognising the changes in seasons.
But more so it is the conversations that feed in and are in context and real and are powerful lessons of what kindness looks like and is.
‘Where has that stick come from?’
‘Yes, the tree?’
‘How kind of the tree to give us this stick.’
‘How can we show we are thankful and give kindness back?’
‘We can water the tree and care for the tree.’
I always found handling bugs and looking after our insects a lovely way of us being kind to nature and building habitats to care for them and learning about kind things they also do for us.
By using natural resources more, we are not only showing acts of kindness towards nature but the planet also. By opting for more natural resources, we are using glue sticks less, whiteboard pens and other plastics we consume a lot of. But also, it is an act of kindness for humanity thinking of our future generations.
So the next time you sit the children down in a circle to chat about kindness. Why not show it them and show them the kindest act ever known, mother nature and how we can do the kindest act ever too and care for the world we live in.
Muddy Teacher Sarah xx
A teaching approach that uses an outside-in curriculum.
Reduce Waste | Outdoor Learning | Mindfulness | Wellbeing
EYFS, KS1, KS2
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