Meet your child's teachers!

 

As a mother of three (8 y/o, 20 y/o, 22 y/o), my former profession as a pediatric registered nurse, and now as a certified teacher, I've been given the unique perspective of viewing a child's optimal growth in terms of health, intellect, and spirituality. I feel I have a firm grasp on what education is meant to be and this, in turn, has become my burning passion! The quote "A mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains it's original dimensions"--Oliver Wendell Holmes, sums it up nicely. I believe what this school focuses on (read Our Philosophy) is the inherent right of every child, and it is my purpose in life to provide it!

Along with children, my other passion is nature. I feel strongly about protecting and preserving nature and our environment (you might call me a tree-hugger!). I may feel this way because of my experiences and exposure to nature and the outdoors as a child growing up (camping, hiking, biking, etc.), which may have just been the generation I grew up in ('70s/'80s). But what I see now, and what statistics are saying, is that this type of recreation is on the decline. That saddens me as I know the future of our earth will rest upon the decisions our children make as adults (as well as ours today, of course!). And I wonder how much they will try to protect and preserve something they can't appreciate and have no close, personal relationship with. This has led me to the creation of our Forest Kindergarten (which has existed for years in Europe and Scandanavian countries) and opened my eyes to the necessity for them here in America as well.

What I have found here is a way to merge my deep love for nature with my passion for children in a way that can only be described as spiritual. To me this is not a job, it is a calling (that I would do even if I won the lottery)!

So now, after having moved from San Antonio, to Germany, to Copperas Cove, to Corpus Christi, and finally to Austin, I am ready to call this place home and follow the direction of this path. I intend to use this program as a vehicle to express my passion and enthusiasm for nature and education through the nurturing and care of the children in our communities, while sharing my knowledge and experience with their caregivers to the benefit of their children and our planet!

As my dad always taught me, "Always leave the campground a little cleaner than you found it", I'd like to leave the world a little better than I found it!

~Janine

 

Rachel Duggan
I love being a teacher and spending time outdoors with children. The positive energy that is created when children are allowed to explore and play in nature is so exciting and rewarding. The natural world has so much to offer, creating new adventures every day. It is the perfect environment for growing minds to learn and develop, and I have much to share from my landscape architecture background with respect to plants and animals. Favorite activities of mine are hiking, swimming, gardening, and of course, spending time with my dog Scoots. I am passionate about promoting a better understanding of our world for future generations to enjoy the same empathy and sense of wonder that was instilled in me as a child playing outside. I have worked in several City of Austin programs that focus on children and youth interacting with nature, and I look forward to spending the year at the Butterfly Garden and all the discoveries and adventures to come!
~Rachel
 
 
Hi my name is Julia, and I'm 22 years old. I've been experienced in childcare for 3+ years, from infants to toddlers and pre-k to kindergarten. I love kids and learning about their personalities. I have worked with children helping them develop skills needed throughout their day-to-day lives such as large and fine motor skills, expressing themselves through art, song, or drawing all the while developing the foundational social skills that will serve them into adulthood. I have experience in graphic design and in some cases I use that to help my students learn as well. I know that there are other things out there for me to learn as well so I try to learn as much as I can -- inlcuding things my kiddos teach me as we grow together!