ABOUT ME

Courtney Woods

teacher, runner, nature lover, book reader, recovering perfectionist.

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Thank you for taking the time to visit my little corner of the internet! I’m a kindergarten teacher in a public school in the midwest, and I’m passionate about bringing more nature and science literacy into elementary classrooms. Like many teachers, I struggle to fit in the daily demands of a rigorous curriculum while still maintaining a sacred space of joy and wonder where every child can bloom. In my ten years of teaching, I’ve slowly gathered resources and connections that help me keep curiosity and joy at the center of my classroom. I hope to share many of those resources in this space. Feel free to read, use and offer ideas for your classroom as well!

 
 
 
 

My Story

 
 

It's somewhat surprising that one of my biggest passions has become nature and science education. Growing up, I was what you would call an "indoor kid." The likeliest place to find me would be curled up in bed with a book - even on sunny days, my parents had to urge me to go play outside. I was fascinated by animals and nature, but in a purely cerebral way - I preferred to read about trees and wolves, rather than experience them in the real world. And in high school, I avoided science classes like the plague. The few that I was required to take I found to be mind-numbingly boring, filled with analyzing periodic tables and memorizing dry facts. 

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It wasn't until college that I truly engaged with my sense of wonder about the earth, that same sense that I hope to instill in students today. Two experiences shaped my nascent love of science and nature: An inspirational science methods instructor showed me that teaching about science can be deep, fulfilling work that connects with children's curiosities about the world. And a volunteer trip to Costa Rica ignited my passion for environmental activism in my personal and professional life.

Before teaching kindergarten, I worked several non-traditional teaching jobs, including as an environmental educator, a farm-to-school teacher, and a school garden coordinator. I loved working for nature centers and non-profits, but my heart is in the classroom. Whenever possible, I try to give my students meaningful learning experiences in science and nature by connecting them to the rest of the school curriculum. I believe that classroom teachers, who spend nearly 40 hours a week with their students, can make the biggest impact on children's knowledge and connection to the earth.