Let’s make the case for joy. Pure unadulterated child-like garden joy. I think we as educators know that joy is an integral part of learning- that when we have ecstatic experiences, we remember them, cherish them. This joy really comes out around here when students have choices, when they can guide their own explorations, and follow their own interests in the garden.
“Free exploration time” around here is not recess- it’s actually something more profound and meaningful. Whether you are interested in bugs, spiders, berries, mints, or whatever- you can choose, and that is very powerful for kids.
The experiential nature of the garden really impacts kids, they learn of course, but maybe more importantly- they remember! When they can taste or smell or touch something- it’s a powerful sensation. And when they make a choice to do that, it is even more powerful.
Seeing kids take a tomato home that they grew was really great because it was theirs- they could choose to take it and plant it wherever they wish. They can harvest and eat it at will.
The Orca garden really works to impact kids, foster critical thinking, nurture choices, and create joy. Ask the kids- they love this class and that really is important because they care, it means something to them. It’s the Orca way.