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The Gift of Nature in Our City

June 2, 2021 | Kristen Jordan

Just as we have been enjoying the nature in our city all year, the children continue to be thrilled each day as we head outside to play. There have been a few highlights in the great outdoors lately!

Digging and raking are a favorite activity each and every single day at the park.  Cakes are built, letters are carved, and there is simply much industrious movement of dirt. 

The sprinklers provide constant wonder and delight!

Discoveries of starling shells (and rocks and sticks and leaves and even plastic strings…) never cease to amaze.

In response to a story we read about some animals who had a springtime parade, children had been gathering more leaves and sticks to make flags.  So last Thursday, we had our very own springtime parade at the park.

 On the way back to school, we were fortunate enough to enjoy a concert given to us by some older Mustard Seed students playing a rousing rendition of “Hot Cross Buns” on their recorders. 

And today, we had a lovely walk to Steven’s Park.  The children gleefully played on the rocks and in the grass.  We spotted a robin fledgling and discovered some ants.  We enjoyed a lovely outside snack time, did some drawing, and played some more!

We even had another small parade before heading back to school!

It was a great and glorious day!  It is amazing how much nature we are able to have exposure to while living in an urban environment. There is something so beautiful, and so good for all of us, to be able to experience natural beauty around us, even in the city.  

Kristen Jordan

Teacher, Rivers Class

Kristen Jordan began helping at Mustard Seed School in 2006, after her daughter had been a student in the preschool. She substituted for many years in all grades; in 2011, she returned to the classroom and has been a teacher in The Nest ever since.

Prior to the birth of her daughter Clara, in 2002, Ms. Jordan worked in Brooklyn as a first grade teacher with the New York City Public Schools. During this time, her school collaborated with the Brooklyn Museum, and this work helped Ms. Jordan develop a real interest in the parallels between the process of making art and the process of writing in the classroom. She thoroughly enjoys teaching both art and literacy to preschoolers.

Ms Jordan’s background includes work with the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. While at Teachers College, she trained with esteemed educator and author Lucy Calkins. Early in her teaching career, Ms. Jordan did not think that she wanted to teach very young children but her view has changed! She now really enjoys and takes great interest in young children and their development.

Ms. Jordan enjoys reading, working out, hiking, cooking, and spending time with her daughter and family. Although she has lived on the East Coast for a very long time, as a native of Oregon, she really loves the mountains!

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