Taurin Jones-Dimler: Nature and animals have always been vital forces, peeking my interest and curiosity, ever since I was a small child. Growing up on the outskirts of Cincinnati, Ohio in the early 1970’s, I lived in a rural environment, bordering a Nature Conservancy area, which opened a world of adventure, imagination, and play. I spent many hours exploring my natural world, learning about different plants and animals. My knowledge of nature was further expanded through rich experiences at nature camps and outdoor educational field experiences, provided by the schools I attended. At the age of twelve, my family moved to Colorado, and I learned even more about the great outdoors. Experiencing nature from a recreational aspect, skiing, hiking, and mountain climbing continue to be passions I still enjoy today.
This early understanding of the world around me and my deep connection to it became a lifelong source of inspiration. Once I became an educator, I realized my innate desire to pass this inspiration onto my students, especially as I began teaching in urban settings. Connections and knowledge of our natural world seemed to be a need with so many. I find that as a teacher, I continually and purposefully incorporate natural learning experiences, designed to develop more meaning, understanding, and stir inspiration, just as I had been inspired as a young child. It is through nature, that I see my students become truly engaged in learning. It is through this learning that they become more aware of their role in this world; how we as a global network need to work together with nature.
My love of teaching, along with my love of nature and animals, continues to grow as I have begun a new journey with Take Pride Learning. Reuniting with my college best friend Cindy Coleman, and joining her mission to inspire and educate young minds, has become a dream come true, as we both have shared the joy of teaching and the love of nature for a very long time. Together, we will inspire children to love learning through nature and animals, and encourage critical thinking about our natural world.
iKnowABC Teacher, Lover of Nature and Animals