It’s been a little less than 5 months since I began my blogging adventure here at Green Chimneys. Whether it’s the beauty, strength or vulnerability of plant or child, every day offers some sort of wonderment for me. This feeling is what prompted me to begin the effort of trying to capture some of these moments and share them in this forum. It seemed unfair, somehow, to keep all these amazing occurrences to myself.
The process of blogging has proven to be a real learning device for me. When faced with sitting down and recording an experience, I am asked to reflect on what is going on in the subtext of my program. All teachers are constantly asking themselves: How did today’s lesson go? How can I improve it for tomorrow? Why did the students react to this or that the way they did? How can I build off of, or move away from that the next time it happens? Now, taking it a step further and writing about the trials and successes of a program to share publicly requires going to a deeper level. Truth be told, I sometimes either totally miss the connections that are just waiting to be made or they seem so obvious I don’t realize that they need to be articulated. This is where my “Garden Whisperer” comes in: Anne, my colleague, who masterfully makes connections I never conceived, flushes out ideas I just brush upon, and delicately teases relevant information from me.
A benefit to blogging is all the photos we now take. The obvious things, the surface things, like projects we are working are fun to photograph, and I hope you enjoy looking at them. Keeping files of photos is also a great record-keeping device and combing through photographic images is so inspiring and rich. (Wish the song “Kodachrome” by Paul Simon could be playing in the background!) I especially love when a student acts as class photographer. When I download the pictures at the end of the day, it’s like a series of little presents to see the sights that intrigued their eye.
Lastly, I really like the idea of sharing images of our school day with the families of our students, as well as other educators, horticultural therapists and people who innately understand the deepest of connections between humans and nature. I want them to see that there are truly special things going on here that are not appreciated or supported in the vast majority of schools, the way they are here. Nature-based education in a therapeutic environment is what makes Green Chimneys unique. It’s what makes our staff special and what proves our students outstanding.
Thank you to the small, but growing community of readers and supporters that take their very precious time to check-in on this blog to see how our plants, kids (and teacher) are growing.
Take a gander around the greenhouse and see what we’re up to this month:
Oh, did I mention we were nominated for a Liebster Award? Thank you fellow blogger “The Healing Garden gardener” for the nomination and ongoing support! (More thread to unwind on this in my next post.)
Please feel free to share feedback or inquire for more details on any of our projects or experiments! Simply scroll down this page to the “Comments” field.