Discovery Southeast is proud to recognize outstanding teacher Rebecca Watts of Gastineau Elementary School as the recipient of the 2017 Discovery Award, recognizing a teacher who’s excelled at introducing their classroom to nature.
Her acceptance is a moving tribute to why each of us values introducing children to nature:
“When we go out into the world, when that incredible landscape in which we live becomes our classroom, we gain so much. We learn about ourselves as scientists, and explorers. We learn about ourselves as adventure-seekers and as risk-takers. We learn about ourselves as students of our community and of the earth. And we learn about ourselves as students, as teachers, and as human beings.
“When I’m able to bring the outdoors into my classroom—or better yet my classroom into the outdoors—the benefits are amazing. Learning becomes more engaging and relevant to my students. It nurtures their natural curiosity about the world. It fosters creativity and imagination. And student motivation skyrockets. It is these experiences that help develop a sense of place and wonder.