Rachel believes that it is important to get our tamariki outdoors and engaging 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 huge 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 in order for them to become kaitiaki of the local environment.
Rachel is excited to help build teachers’ confidence in taking their learning experiences outside the classroom walls. 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 is able to help teachers to use the environment around them for learning, to develop restoration projects and start predator control projects, or to link in with local conservation projects that are already underway. Developing units through an inquiry learning approach is a strength of Rachels, and one that she is keen to share.