The Outdoor Classroom Initiative - Karmin Guzder

These remarks were made at the Grade School Back-to-School Night on September 9, 2013. Karmin Guzder is the fourth grade class teacher.
We all know about and appreciate the strong environmental values which live at our school.  Many call Waldorf the organic education. It is not for superficial reasons, however – the rivers run deep.

Living at the heart of Waldorf Education are two sources of inspiration for our work. One has to do with the social realm and the other with our profound human destiny with the Earth. When we connect the child to the rhythms of nature we guide him or her towards finding a deeper sense of self. On the whole this moves society towards greater consciousness and it deepens the human experience.

To connect more deeply to the inspirations for our work, we have started a new initiative this year called the Outdoor Classroom. I am sure you have heard of the many environmental education programs at other schools which supplement the curriculum.  This is different. Waldorf Education is an Environmental Education. 

We connect the child to the earth and its rhythms every day through the rich curriculum, an active festival life, and subject classes such as gardening and woodworking. And we have been doing this since the 1920’s!

So the Outdoor Classroom is really a way to further define what we already do best. It is a program that will provide opportunities to take our environmental education outdoors more frequently. Teachers will now be able to apply for grants to take their lessons into nature. We are also organizing educational events for our community.

Our group is made up of teachers, administrators, and parents. Our hardworking and dedicated grade school gardening teacher, Amy Belkora, will be coordinating. Matt Hart, the newly hired outdoor education teacher at the high school, will be supporting us here at the grade school.We want you all to be a part of it as well. Join us by chaperoning on a hike or by sharing your ideas.  This program was started by a generous donation from the Seed Fund. We hope you will continue to support it.