I grew up in a small town on the Arizona/Mexico border and my siblings and I played outdoors from sun up ’til sundown in the warm Arizona sunshine. We practically lived in the trees at our mom’s house and when we weren’t outdoors; our talented mother taught us many wonderful skills; knitting, crocheting, sewing, gardening and baking.

At our dad’s house we were allowed to explore the abandoned railroad cars nearby and even discovered a double-decker bus that led to countless hours of imaginative play! We enjoyed camping, fishing, horseback riding, mountain climbing and swimming, and always had a garden to tend (no simple task in the harsh desert climate). It was a carefree and cherished time I will never forget!

Once I had children of my own, I realized how precious those times were and I longed for my own children have the same playful and magical experiences. I believe that when children are rushed into growing up, they miss out on the precious gift of childhood. This began a stirring in my heart that fanned into a passion for protecting childhood through playful, nature-based education.

I completed my Early Childhood Education and Family Studies degree while working at a state run preschool. While I loved working with the children, I felt there was something missing. Then I visited a Waldorf mixed-age kindergarten and realized what was missing was nature!

Working in a Waldorf early childhood classroom taught me about the important influence nature has on the young child’s development. Waldorf education offers a warm and nurturing environment in which children can bask in the joy of childhood. There is a creative balance between learning through play, real work and artistic activities. When learning includes the natural world, children develop environmental awareness and reverence for all life.

I have continued my own journey as a teacher by studying Waldorf education through the Micha-el Institute and LifeWays Teacher Training programs. I also completed Permaculture Teacher Training at the Mother Earth School.

When I am not teaching or studying, I love spending time with my husband, my two children, my granddaughter, our dogs and chickens. We enjoy swimming, hiking and especially love the beach! I enjoy many crafting activities; drawing, knitting, crocheting, sewing, felting and doll making.