Thursday, February 9, 2012

Bones are Terrific!

I believe I have the best job!  I pretty much get paid to play.  The Naturalist Workshop and Trade Counter at the Austin Nature and Science Center is where I spend Wednesday through Friday mornings and Saturdays.  Kids bring me treasures they find in nature, and I give them points for knowing information and being curious.  I love hearing the stories of where the kids found their object and what it might be.  I enjoy teaching kids about things in which they are already interested.

Every week two Nature Center preschool classes come and trade.  The Iguanodon class comes on Thursdays, and the Starfish class comes on Fridays.   I especially enjoy these groups because I get to know them over the year and get to watch them grow and learn.  The preschoolers are bright kids who are naturalists in training.  I am happy to be a part of that training/playing.   Rye was a preschooler last year, who has graduated to Kindergarten.  He is one of those kids who you can have conversation with and is excited about nature.  You can see his hard work in the poster below.  I love the title because Bones are Terrific!  I can defiantly see him going on to become a scientist or park ranger.

The person who had the most influence my desire to be an environmental educator was my dad.  My dad can track animals, spot deer laying out under bush, and name most of the trees found on the trail.  My dad helped me learn to look around and to ask questions about what I see.  My dad passed on his love of nature to me.  I hope I can pass on my love of nature to all the kids who come visit me at work.

Did anyone in particular influence your interest in nature or your current job?  Do you have a nature collection?  What is your favorite thing to collect or see in nature?

Me at work in front of the trade cabinets.

Rye, a regular trade counter visitor, made this poster for the
science fair.  He won 1st place in the kindergarten classes.
Well Done, Rye!