Natural Teachers

Welcome to the virtual gathering place for Natural Teachers. A Natural Teacher is any educator who uses the natural world as a powerful learning environment—whether the subject is biology, writing, art, or any other.

Members: 418
Latest Activity: Mar 1

Every teacher can be a Natural Teacher.

Think of this forum as a break room full of your peers ready for a conversation, a place where you can share ideas and ask for suggestions, where you can be engaged, creative, and encouraged. The subject: How to use the natural world as a classroom to improve your students’ health and well-being, including cognitive ability and attitudes toward learning. The objective: Inspire action, individually or in groups.

Like any meeting place where diverse opinions and concerns are shared, the discourse here must be civil. For further guidance on the “rules of engagement,” please see a set of Frequently Asked Questions located at

The goal is to encourage more teachers to connect their students with nature and to provide a forum where Natural Teachers can share their knowledge and views. Collectively, Natural Teachers can have a profound impact on improving the lives of children, and, in some schools and communities, that is already happening.

Please participate actively, and encourage others to join. Get together face-to-face as well.

You'll find tools and resources throughout the larger Children & Nature Network website.

The Children & Nature Network Leadership Team will monitor this NTN Group web site from time to time, to respond to ideas and encourage action. Thank you for your commitment to children.

Discussion Forum

No Child Left Inside 6 Replies

                                                                     Imagine what it would be like if every K-12 school across the country made environmental education (EE) an essential part of the…Continue

Started by Tamra Willis. Last reply by Sarah Burroughs Nov 28, 2018.

Workshop: Nurturing Our Children, Ourselves, and Nature

Dear All,    We are launching a new program supporting adult teachers and facilitators of nature and learning experiences. We begin with a workshop on October 7, 2017 in White Plains, NY:Nurturing…Continue

Started by LoraKim Joyner Jul 26, 2017.

Backpacking Wilderness Summer Camp Counselor Positions Available

Camp Unalayee, a non-profit wilderness summer camp for kids, ages 10-17 is looking for outdoor lovers who want to be backpacking Summer Camp Counselors. Come spend the summer in the beautiful Trinity…Continue

Started by Sarah Camp Feb 7, 2017.

Music and the outdoors 8 Replies

I'm wondering if  you know of any resources connecting music to  the outdoors ?Continue

Started by Kari. Last reply by Tara Lynn Von Dollen Sep 18, 2016.

Comment Wall


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Comment by Jim McHardy on September 24, 2012 at 11:13am

Parent Engagement

This past week the Kinark Outdoor Centre was fortunate to be able to facilitate a three day residential program with the students, teachers and parents from the East Alternative School in Toronto. While every school that visits the Centre is different, East Alternative stands out as one of only a handful of schools that actively include and engage parents in the field trip and the learning experience. Parents took part in the activities, experienced the learning moment and participated in content dialogue. For those students and for those parents you had a sense that the knowledge gained would not be lost and in fact would provide a stepping off point for new activities and growth.

At East Alternative School parents are an essential component of all that happens and it is an expectation that they are actively involved in their child’s learning. Perhaps their situation is unique, but it made me wonder other success stories around school, parent and community partnerships are out there. Schools in Haliburton hold family meals with organized activities for children and parents. The rural schools with the Upper Grand District School Board involve families in a host of ongoing activities. In Peterborough Kinark is partnering with the Kawartha Pine Ridge School Board, the City of Peterborough, Peterborough County-City Health Unit, the Kawartha Outdoor Education Centre and others to facilitate Family Nature Days.

When parents become equal partners in our schools, our social services and in our communities we enrich the lives of our children.

Comment by Katie Kunze on September 23, 2012 at 4:00pm
Hi everyone! I'm new here and am a very enthusiastic teacher who wants to get kids outdoors. I am currently looking for a full time job ( so if anyone here's of an elementary opening in Michigan please let me know) but when I sub I try to encourage my students for the day to get outside. I can see that I am going to find a lot of great ideas here!
Comment by Suz Lipman on August 14, 2012 at 9:25am

Hi All -- This is a wonderful blog from Natural Teacher Larry Volpe about his experiences using native plants in the school garden:

Comment by Monika Viera on July 20, 2012 at 11:52pm

I hope to influence the parents of the children under my care...will begin with fun gardening projects for the children to learn and share with their instill some interest in alternative learning opportunities from outdoor activities.

Comment by Suz Lipman on July 10, 2012 at 10:29am

This sounds like a wonderful symposium on garden-based teaching and learning: American Horticultural Society's Children and Youth Gardening Symposium. July 18-21, Wash. D.C.

Comment by Yeshi on June 29, 2012 at 2:55pm

Starting at the Green School in Bali this August. 

Comment by Tom Neppl on June 29, 2012 at 1:23pm

Thanks Suz. I've added it as a resource to my course syllabus!

Comment by Suz Lipman on June 29, 2012 at 10:39am

Thought this might be of interest to those involved with school or other gardens:

At Toronto public school, students learn ABCs of gardening - literally!

Comment by Suz Lipman on June 7, 2012 at 1:11pm

High School Teachers - Apply for the $5K Richard Bartlett Environmental Ed. Award by 6/15. Info here:

Comment by Nicole Stinn on June 7, 2012 at 12:01pm

Thank you Juliet - we are trying to do our part to inspire the little ones with great design and informative content. 


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