My passion for sustainability education sparked over a decade ago when I took a life-changing summer job as a park ranger in my hometown in the Columbia River Gorge. I not only fell in love with the landscape (have you seen Multnomah Falls?), but also with talking to visitors and watching their eyes light up when they felt that primal connection to place, history, and the earth. After that I was hooked.
I went on to earn my teaching license, and taught K-12 classes with an emphasis on social justice issues, globalization, and consumerism. But I felt restricted by what I could teach, and struggled to engage my students through lectures and worksheets. I knew there was something missing.
That’s when I discovered regenerative education. Its radical approach hit me right in the heart, and I knew this was the work I was called to do. It completely turned my world upside in the best way possible, challenging my assumptions about what students were capable of, what the learning could look like, and what the purpose of education even is in the first place.
This pedagogy gave me permission to be my full self with my learners; to place equal--if not more--emphasis on the how and why of learning as the what; and it gave me hope in the future, knowing that these compassionate, inquisitive, and fearless learners would one day be in charge.