Hi Carmen and thanks for this post. One of our goals for the Natural Teachers Network is to encourage retired teachers to be mentors on this site, to offer their experience and ideas for questions that are raised here. Several of the Group of 40 who met at Keystone last September when we were just getting started mentioned that they were connected to retired teachers in their state. Now that we are up and running, time to cycle back and get this group of mentors engaged. Glad you and Juliet have shared some thoughts about this. I love the IditaNature idea of spending specified minutes in nature during the race. Many thanks for staying engaged on this site.
What a great idea! What teachers really need to learn from a mentor is the value of getting kids outside and how NOT to feel overwhelmed by it. So often we teachers, especially new ones, feel like we are asked to do more and more until our plate is overflowing. So, instead of looking at it as an "extra" task, teachers need to be mentored in how integrate "natural teaching" into what they already practice. For example, if they are already going to read a book or write a poem- take the practice outside. If they are studying decomposition from the book- go find some real artifacts outside. It is imperative that they also have an ongoing learning community like this one, where they can feel supported and inspired to keep on the path even when the mentorship is over. I am hopeful that there will be a day that this type of mentor program will be just as valued as the beginning teacher mentorship that is so embraced throughout the country.