On the last day of our training we had to deliver our own forest school session to the rest of the group. This is something that I felt more confident in as it didn’t involve tools, fires or shelters.
The best part about this process was the planning. It was so nice to plan with other people who are in the same mind set as you rather than being the so-called ‘expert’ that other people come to for the forest school answers (of which I don’t have many!) Bouncing ideas off other people is so important and something that I hope to do more in the future. I have been also discovering other people’s blogs, instagram and pinterest accounts to get as many ideas as possible. Inspiration is so important when you are starting a new venture, no one expects you to know everything!
So we carried out our session successfully but I also hugely enjoyed being the child for once, taking part in 3 other sessions. It made you really think about how they feel in sessions, including the importance of time and space to develop your confidence and creativity. With some of the activities I wasn’t ‘feeling it’ but we were given a good chunk of time to complete things like a bird nest, clay creatures or a reflective artwork. I realised I spent time looking around my environment for inspiration and didn’t start with a plan or an outcome. This is something that in modern working life you don’t get to do very often. No one was pressurising me into completing an end piece in a certain way. It was great to let it flow more naturally and see where it took me, surprising myself with what came out.
The right level of questioning by the forest school leader is an integral part of this process. I spend so much of my time bombarding children with questions to extend their learning and to make sure they are concentrating but actually time to think and not ask is essential. Something that I will definitely take from these sessions.