North Vancouver School District
the natural place to learn©
Nov 25
Lynn Valley pro-d focuses on wellness and outdoor education

By Lisa Upton, Principal

Early November, Lynn Valley Elementary School staff gathered on the traditional territory of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation for a teacher-led day of professional learning focused on wellness and outdoor education. 

During the morning session, School Counsellor Jane Pike shared an NVSD Social Emotional Learning Team presentation in support of wellness. Using both small and whole group dialogue strategies, Jane facilitated rich discussions on self-care, as well as supports to overcome barriers to self-care.

The team was also led through a meditative “sit spot" activity by the water that served to reconnect us with ourselves as part of the natural world. (A “sit spot" is a location in nature where one sits to observe, reflect and engage the five senses to support grounding oneself. Often people return to these spots over time.)

In the afternoon, Teachers Colette Doan and Maggie Owen  took the group “into the wild," leading the team in outdoor education activities. We engaged in ecosystem games and activities that included scavenger hunts and careful interactive questionning to determine an unknown living thing.

Throughout the day, Vice Principal Kendra Arkinstall facilitated Thinking Routines to ground the group in reflection on new learning, as well as any learning connections we uncovered.

Self-care looks different for everyone. What is key is taking the time for wellness practices that meet individual needs. As someone reminded us during our professional development day, “We are human BE-ings, not human DO-ings."

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