Rachel believes that it is essential to get our tamariki outdoors and engage with nature, as there are benefits for their mental health, physical health, academic achievement, social development, and understanding of the world around them. Having our young people connect to nature is also essential if we hope to develop our conservation leaders of the future. In her own teaching experience, Rachel could see the enormous benefits of learning through nature in all curriculum areas. Now, as an environmental educator, she sees how important it is to involve our young people in authentic conservation work for them to become kaitiaki of the local environment.
Rachel is excited to help build teachers’ confidence to take their learning experiences outside the classroom. She loves seeing students’ views of the environment around them change as they learn more about the way that our unique plants and animals work together. She can help teachers use the environment around them for learning, develop restoration projects and start predator control projects, or link in with local conservation projects already underway. Developing units through an inquiry learning approach is a strength of Rachel’s and one that she is keen to share.