Creating Wise Earth Elementary Forest School is a dream come true. I am so grateful for our amazing community to be supporting us!
Nature has always been an incredible teacher to me. No matter where I have lived or travelled, it is in the wild open spaces that I feel most at home.
As a guide and teacher, I witness incredible growth and transformation for children, teens and adults happen over and over when they discover their capabilities and connection to nature. It is a wild, strong and alive part of ourselves. In our modern world, it now takes time and space to find it within ourselves, to cultivate it and share it with our children.
I firmly believe that when children grow up with a caring connection to nature, they will continue to steward and care for the earth as adults. When children are safely immersed in nature, they are happy, inspired, and positively challenged.
I am overjoyed to be co-creating this community, and co-leading an elementary education program housed and immersed in nature. I have been deeply inspired by Nature Kindergarten at Sangster, Mary's Farm and numerous other nature programs and initiatives across the country.
Working with kids has always brought me joy and laughter! I am a certified Elementary and Middle School Teacher and have a B.A.Sc. in Child and Adolescent Development. I have worked as a teacher, Outdoor Educator and Wilderness Guide/ Instructor since 2002. I offered K-12 programs at Outdoor Education Centres in Ottawa and co-led multi day paddling, hiking and dog-teaming expeditions with Outward Bound Canada in the wilds of Northern Ontario.
My fascination with winter led to me to Nunavut where I worked as a classroom teacher for three years. I coordinated and co-led land trips for youth and elders to share traditional knowledge and land skills in Gjoa Haven, Nunavut. I also have three years of experience in developing curriculum with multiple perspectives of traditional indigenous knowledge and western science for the Government of Nunavut.
This project is the culmination of all that I have been given over the years by mentors and teachers, and I am delighted to be sharing this with our kids and community. It is a great honour to bring everyone together and to build this community strong and bright.
Let the adventure continue !!!!
I am very excited to join the Wise Earth family this year! I have always considered nature to be a powerful mentor and feel very grateful to be working in the beautiful woods of Metchosin, with inquisitive, outdoor-loving children.
Throughout my life, I have been lucky to visit various parts of the world and live in very different environments, and be part of various conventional and alternative education programs. Exploring the uniqueness of my surroundings and finding meaningful spots has always brought joy to me and my family.
Sharing my knowledge about Earth and observing the world around us is one of the ways I connect with children, mutually fostering our curiosities, and learning from each other every day.
A year ago, I moved with my family to Victoria, where we enjoy biking, gardening, hiking and playing games.
I (she/they) feel so grateful to have been knit into the community here at Wise Earth. This land and its beings have given me so many meaningful teachings, and it is an honour to share those with the children and learn from them, too. Coming into elementary education and forest mentorship with a background in Applied Theatre and Design has been such a heart filling journey. I feel so inspired by children's ability to play, and to ask questions I’d never think of. I have previously worked in childcare and summer camp facilitation settings, and also in a volunteer capacity as a girl guide leader with Trex, a branch of Guiding which focuses on outdoor recreation and leadership. On my days off, I like to hike, sing, read, and paint, and sleep in with my cat, Mal.
I am a settler with Swiss and Dutch heritage and grew up in Lekwungen and W̱SÁNEĆ territory/Victoria. I graduated with a BFA from the University of Victoria in 2021 and moved out to Beecher Bay and Scia’new territory in 2022 while completing the Carpentry foundations program at Camosun College. My theatre and multidisciplinary practices have gravitated towards decolonial and land-space-place based ways of knowing and learning, incorporating site-specificity, environmental focuses, and collaborative forms of creation. As an artist and stage/costume designer, I love engaging with children's creativity and believe that art is for everyone!
Nichole was such a special and blessed part of our Wise Earth Community as a staff member from 2020-22. She brings a true joy for the spiritual development of children's gifts and knowledge, and returns for workshops to our school. Thank you for all that you dedicated and created here at Wise Earth ~ My gratitude is truly boundless for you.
I am thrilled to be part of Sarah's powerfully conscious alternative school ~ Wise Earth Elementary Forest School. Having an education system that is beyond four walls and a desk is something our society needs more of.
Having personally run something similar, I was blessed to watch children thrive and grow through exploration and discovery. Incorporating lessons and values to honour and embrace mother nature and all its creatures is a core value of mine. I am so honoured to be part of this ripple effect in our world.
A little bit about myself: I am a mother of three beautiful children Dylan 14, Liam 11 and Jazmin 8. We live in Sooke where we are out hiking, kayaking and biking daily, soaking up all the beauty around us. I have over 25 years experience in child care, teaching, and children camps. I have my 2nd year of Bachelor of Education with a minor in psychology, and I am a Reiki Master. I have owned and operated my business Inner Peace Healing for 6 years aiding clients and families in their evolutions.
I look forward to teaching the students love and compassion for the earth, and all that resides on it, especially themselves. I am honoured to be part of your child's journey, and I am so excited for the adventures in store for us!
Sarah Knight joined forces with us in 2020-21 to bring Wise Earth to the public, and I couldn't have done it without her! Together we created an alternative, nature based learning environment for our very own children! Thank you Sarah ~ we are eternally grateful to you and your family!
A little bit about Sarah Knight...
I believe that the developing mind of a child is quite possibly the most valuable and precious asset gifted to this world, and must thus be nurtured consciously and with great care. With each young mind so unique from the others, education can look very different for each individual.
The natural environment provides endless opportunities for child directed learning so that education can meet the needs of each individual child through play, curiosity, wonder, and practical application.
It is for these reasons that I am so excited to be blessed with this opportunity to be a part of creating a safe, healthy, and child centered program in nature.
Supporting and educating children in nature is pretty much in my bones! As a kid I was a summer camp "lifer", moving all the way through the ranks to eventually becoming a camp counselor myself at Sooke's YMCA Camp Thunderbird. This experience sparked a long career of working with children in various capacities. I've coordinated summer camps and kid zones at summer festivals, taught English overseas to elementary age children, worked in childcare, as a Family Support Worker, and an Educational Assistant in the public school system. I have a bachelor's degree in Child and Youth Care and I've topped it all off with my most rewarding experience working with children - becoming a mother to my two boys, Tyee and Kodiak.
The coming year will bring fun, adventure, challenge, and, most of all, great teaching for this new and growing community of learners, guides, and family members alike. I can't wait to get to know each new young mind and explore the natural world together! Let's go play outside!!