Spotlight on Environmental Education
Early Childhood Educator
I am a child care provider in a home daycare setting. I care for, nurture and teach toddlers and preschoolers. It is important to the design of the program that the children spend much of their time outdoors playing and exploring, while I do my best to foster a sense of wonder about the natural world.
1. Why are you focusing on EE in your career?
The environment is not only something that I am interested in, but it is also something that I feel passionate about. It is important to me to be able to spend my days doing work that is meaningful to me and that will help make my community stronger. Doing environmental education with young children is way for me to incorporate all the things that I love- kids, nature, and sharing my passion for the wonders of the world around us.
2. What is the most exciting and/or fulfilling aspect of being in the EE field or of being an environmental educator?
The field of environmental education is so dynamic, constantly growing and changing. It is exciting and fulfilling to be a part of a movement to change our communities and our world for the better. Each person involved with environmental education plays a small role to collectively create great progress. For me, by far, the best part of being an environmental educator is seeing the looks of awe and
excitement on young children’s faces when they discover something new. Helping children develop a healthy, positive relationship to their natural world is like laying the foundation for their future ability to make informed and appropriate choices regarding the environment. This possibility is exciting to me!
3. How has Antioch prepared you for what you’re doing now?
Antioch has helped me open my eyes wide to all possibilities. Through coursework and projects I’ve had the opportunity to explore many themes including earth science, conservation biology, civic ecology, and sustainability. Antioch also encouraged self-exploration, through which I learned more and more about who I am, what is important to me, and how I can make positive contributions to the world. The environmental education program, faculty and fellow classmates have helped bring all of the points of exploration together for me and supported me through the process.
It was through my studies at Antioch that I realized how underserved the early childhood population is, and that I could help make a difference in the lives of young children. I was encouraged to take the opportunity to explore and follow my interests.
4. What is your “eco-confession”?
I am certainly far from perfect, and I have several confessions I could make. Lately, my biggest fault is remembering to bring my re-usable shopping bags to the grocery store