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Let the Sunshine In!

by Kathleen Corrigan

Don’t you love the wonderful light that we see when we come out of school at the end of the day? After a long winter of dark mornings and dark evenings leaving work while it is still light is so invigorating. I find it always inspires me to step back and reflect on what has been going well but also recognize what ruts I have settled into. As new life springs up around us I want to be sure my program is really vibrant for the children and for me.

Our students will be just as excited by the spring weather as we are and we need to shine that wonderful spring light on their lives. Ask yourself – are the children outside in the natural world, every day, at times other than recess? How are you bringing their learning outside?

I know, we have so many excuses for why we can’t explore, inquire, teach, and learn outside.

Do these sound familiar?

·       They know the routines and changing the routines upsets them

·       My district data are due soon, I can’t take time away from real teaching

·       It’s too hard to keep them focused on work outside

·       There is nothing to do out there, we don’t have resources

·       There is not enough time

·       They don’t have the right clothing

Well these are just excuses, good ones perhaps, by not good enough to keep our children inside. So how can we plan to have them outside, growing and learning and still manage all our other responsibilities?  What can they do outside that makes the time as rich and important as each minute they spend indoors?

I challenge us all to think of ways to get our children outside where they belong! What do you do outside that is simple, engaging, and a source of good learning for children? What can we do to let the sunshine into their lives?


Kathleen has been a Primary Junior teacher, K-12 consultant and author for 32 years. Kathleen served as the Reading Recovery leader for the Simcoe County District School Board. Specializing as an Early Years Consultant K-3, she has supported teachers K-12 in the areas of literacy, mathematics, and special education. Kathleen has written and reviewed material for several publishers as well as the Ministry of Education in Ontario. Kathleen offers both evidence based theory and practical, applicable ideas.

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