Wauhatchie School

Teacher Training

Outside on all sides.

Ellen Kinney, a teacher from Memphis, Tennessee enjoys learning with Wauhatchie School Forest Kindergarteners during a training session.  “Thank you for this wonderful experience!  I have officially fallen in LOVE with Forest Kindergarten!  I am excited about pursuing a career in a forest school setting.  This is only the beginning.”  Ellen Kinney


Teacher training

More and more teachers are interested in learning about teaching in a Forest Kindergarten setting, how to establish a stand-alone program, or how to incorporate the principles and philosophy of nature-immersion education in a pre-existing program. Dr. Jean Lomino will facilitate these training sessions and will share the insights and experience she has gained through almost 40 years as a classroom teacher, environmental/outdoor educator, nature center director, teacher trainer and outdoor education consultant.

3-day Teacher Training:

Each session is scheduled for 9:00-1:00 and provides 10 hours of direct observation at the Wauhatchie Forest Kindergarten and 5 hours of class discussion. The fee is $500 per person. Each session is limited to five participants. To reserve your spot, complete and mail or email the teacher training application and mail in the deposit of $250. The remainder of the fee ($250) is due two weeks before the session is due to begin. After the training is concluded, each participant will receive a certificate of completion and follow-up consultations with Dr. Lomino as needed, via email and/or phone calls. The fee covers the cost of a class materials and workbook.

1-day Introduction to FK:

The one-day session, from 9:00-1:00, is designed to allow teachers, administrators, home school parents and others to observe the program in action and then spend an hour in discussion with teachers after the class is over.  Sessions are scheduled according to availability. The fee for the 1-day session is $100, to be paid in advance and mailed with the application.

Forest Kindergarten consultant services include:

•   Visiting your school or proposed school site and evaluating and making recommendations for your site

•   Making professional presentations for potential funders, parent groups, school boards and others

•   On-site observation and mentoring of Forest Kindergarten teachers

2016-2017 Teacher Training Session Schedule

  •       One-day sessions scheduled according to participant and teacher availability.
  •       Three-day sessions scheduled in May according to participant and teacher availability
  • ·      Summer Three-day Session:  July 10-12 (Limited to 5 participants.) Deadline for registration is 5/31/17.

*Wauhatchie School Forest Kindergarten Teacher Training schedule and fees for 2017-18 will be announced in May. 

Teacher Testimonials

I was amazed at the beauty and creative spaces Dr. Lomino and Diana have formed in their Forest Kindergarten (Kid Wonderland!)  I was fortunate to have two days of observation and discussion with these passionate educators and found the groups of children entirely engaged in their learning. The children were highly independent and confident in their environment which had them climbing rocks, jumping over sticks and logs, wading and splashing in the creek, digging for fossils, stirring mud and forming different 'buildings' with their sticks, rocks, grasses, and flowers.  Whatever they wanted to create, they did so.  I think the most special thing to me was hearing children as young as three years old identify by name the world around them:  a sycamore tree was a loved tree, purple violets, redbuds, dogwood flowers, deer tracks, salamander eggs, ant hills, millipedes.  I believe when something has a name it can become loved and cared for.  I love that these children will surely be protectors and lovers of our earth.  I would love to see all children have the opportunity to know their natural world as the ones I observed at Wauhatchie.”  Tara Winterbotham

“Thanks again, Jean. I had a wonderful time with you, your staff, and your kids. We were blessed with good weather and exciting nature finds all around. I will drive back to Asheville tomorrow inspired and grateful for this experience!”  Erika Harrison

COMING This summer—First Graduate Level Forest Kindergarten Teacher Training in the United States! 

FK Teacher Training will be offered for both graduate and CEU credit through the Master’s Degree Program in Outdoor Education at Southern Adventist University.  Classes will occur in two sessions:  June 12-30 in Chattanooga and July 23-August 4 in Seattle, WA.  These courses are designed and will be taught by Dr. Jean Lomino, Director of Wauhatchie School and an SAU adjunct professor.  Spaces are limited.  The cost for CEU credit is $200 for two-day sessions and $600 for each full-week session.  Participants will receive certificates with both Wauhatchie School and university endorsements.  If you would like more details after reading the downloaded items, please contact Jean at jlomino@mac.com


Outdoor Education Consulting

Dr. Jean Lomino, Dr. Carl Swafford and their team of outdoor education experts will help schools and teachers implement outdoor education into their curricula and into their school grounds. Fees for services will be determined on a sliding scale, and based upon the number of teachers and sessions needed. Most training will occur at the client’s school site, but the Wauhatchie School site and other outdoor venues will also be available. All sessions will be planned and facilitated by THINK NATURE team member(s).

Consulting services may include all or some of the sessions from the following menu. Sessions are listed in consecutive order:

  1. Teacher Inspiration—Teachers will participate in naturalist-led easy hike, canoe trip or other low-risk outdoor adventure. They will learn to observe, using all their senses and record their observations in a nature journal.  This experience is designed to inspire teachers to see the benefits of using nature as a classroom. This session can occur at the school or nearby natural area. (One half-day or a full day)
  2. Visioning—Teachers and other school stakeholders will work together to brainstorm ways to develop their school’s outdoor education-centered curriculum. They will discuss various ways to incorporate outdoor education in their students’ learning. (1-2 two-hour sessions)
  3. Outdoor Classroom Site Development—Based on the vision that is established for their school, teachers and other school stakeholders, will determine the best places for outdoor classroom sites. Then together with local experts they will complete a site assessment including an ecological survey. They will determine what enhancements and constructed/landscaped features are needed to fulfill their vision. They will develop a conceptual plan and begin implementation of the project. (1-3 full days sessions)
  4. Outdoor Education Proposal Development—A team of teachers, parents, board members and community members will create a proposal that includes teaching objectives, goals, budget, funding, maintenance plan and 5-year implementation plan with development phases.  If needed, they will develop a list of potential donors and business partners. (2-5 two-hour sessions)
  5. Curriculum Development—Teachers will develop a school-wide theme with coordinating grade-level projects and specific learning activities—project based outdoor education-based and interdisciplinary. (2-5 full day sessions)
  6. Professional Presentations—Parent Orientation Meetings, Presentations to administrative teams, school boards and donors, Other events as needed

Outdoor Teacher Training

(Training can occur at school site or at other locations.)

Teachers will learn and practice outdoor teaching strategies including:

  • Discovery learning strategies
  • Place-based education
  • Behavior management in the outdoors
  • Experiential education teaching strategies

Training Sessions for subject areas (can be planned for specific grade levels):

  • Living Lightly on the Land: conservation and principles of sustainable living (1 day)
  • Nature Journaling Across the Curriculum (2 days)
  • Literature and Writing in Nature (3 days)
  • Art in Nature: ephemeral art, nature printing, and using other natural materials (1 day)
  • Math in Nature (1 day)
  • The Naturalist’s Toolbox: How to conduct a nature hike and be prepared for teachable moments
  • Developing Service Learning Projects (1 day)
  • Health in Nature (1 day)
  • Using the Outdoors to Teach Social Studies (3 days)
  • STEM learning in the Outdoors (3 days)
  • Teaching Science Outdoors—biology, geology, chemistry, physics (2 days)
  • Map-making in the School Yard

Each day is 8 hours. Session time frames can be adjusted according to school schedules and objectives.

For additional information concerning teacher training or consultations contact Dr. Lomino by email: jlomino@mac.com