Ep. 76 – Mentoring Nature Connections with Lauren MacLean

Tim StephensonScience 360 Podcast

Lauren MacLean lives in Port Moody, British Columbia, Canada, with her two young toddlers and an energetic puppy. She is a full time elementary school teacher where she takes her learners outdoors to explore, learn, and play each and every day. She is the author of the best selling children’s picture book, Me and My Sit Spot and the host of the Mentoring Nature Connections podcast.

I think I first stumbled across Lauren because I too love to be in nature. Every chance I get, I return to some remote shoreline of British Columbia, usually accessible only by kayak, and I connect myself to my surroundings. So, as such, I tend to search for podcasters who speak about these sort of things. And if you’re a teacher AND a podcaster, and your podcast is called Mentoring Nature Connections, you can be sure I’m going to tune in!

I feel like my journey in becoming an astronomy teacher is similar to the way Lauren became a local go-to teacher for outdoor education. Both of us, early on, had a passion for learning about a particular thing and both of us have learned, sought out mentors and knowledge, likley made some mistakes along the way, but stuck with it and taught everyone who would listen.

Passion for teaching a subject area can be infectious. And Lauren is brimming with passion. I would have loved to have had my own kids in her class. You can pick up on the enthusiasm and joy she shares with her students and the lessons she teaches will reverberate in these young learners for years to come.

I’ve said many times that if you want to affect the future, become a teacher. And this is what I feel Lauren is doing. She’s affecting the health of a generation by teaching them how to appreciate the outdoors, by teaching them about nature, the plants, the animals, the clouds…and this in turn is going to affect the health of the planet.

Be sure to check out all the links to Lauren’s podcast and her book and some great resources available to teachers, such as the work of Ross Reid on his YouTube channel Nerdy about Nature (also on my podcast back in October of 2020 on an episode called the Poetic Beauty of Science), and also the Columbia Basin Environmental Education Network (CBEEN) and their podcast called Earthy Chats. I would also like to highlight the website greenteacher.com who put out wonderful resources for teachers including a magazine called Green Teacher and a podcast called talking with green teachers. There’s just so much! Now let’s dive into this conversation and after you’re done listening, do as Lauren says: get outside and get your hands dirty!

Teaching outdoors... the benefits of sit spots, nature journalling, doing math in nature, SEL in nature, data collection, measurement and observation. Lauren is an expert! #tbpodcaster #outdoorlearning Click To Tweet


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