Outdoor Learning Benefits for Teachers: Why Teachers Need Time Outside Too!

We all know that outdoor learning has amazing benefits for our students. However, we seldom talk about how it also benefits teachers. By getting outdoors, teachers can experience everything from health benefits to a chance to think outside the box and use their creativity. Outdoor learning can even help you to make a difference in the future and revitalize your career. Check out some of these benefits of outdoor learning for teachers and start getting outside today.

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Ready to get started with outdoor learning, check out our “Get Outside Tool Kit.” In this tool kit you will find tons of helpful templates, handouts, and teacher worksheets to help make getting outside easy!

Benefits of Outdoor Learning for Teachers

Health Benefits of Outdoor Learning

We all know that getting outside makes us just feel better. The science proves that there are many physiological reasons for this. There are so many studies that show how spending time outdoors has amazing benefits for both our physical and mental health. Some (but definitely not all) of the benefits are:

  • more movement- when you are teaching outside it is usually pretty easy to get your steps in each day
  • varied terrain challenges your balance and coordination keeping you nimble
  • fresh air is better than recirculated school air
  • the sunshine allows you to synthesize vitamin D
  • you will sleep better
  • being outdoors can help lower your blood pressure
  • increased positivity
  • reduced depression symptoms
  • improved creativity
  • improved cognitive function
  • greater tendency to socialize with others

Want to read more about the physical health benefits of getting outside, check out these articles:

Getting Outside Could Potentially Make Your Job Easier

When students are able to get outside and are not confined to the classroom, you may notice a definite shift in their behaviour and attitude towards learning. Allowing your students to have time outside can therefore make your job easier once you take learning back inside for the day. You may notice a greater sense of relaxation and better focus from your students. Additionally, spending time outdoors means your students have more opportunities to socialize, problem-solve, and work together leading to better cohesiveness in the class.

Easily Meet the Curriculum- Let Nature be the Teacher

Not only are you able to meet many of your curriculum objectives outside, but you are able to do so in a more rich and meaningful way. Sometimes all you have to to is let nature take the lead! Being outside means that your students are able to learn from one of the best teachers around, nature. What better way for your students to learn about concepts in the curriculum than from nature herself. Not only will nature allow your students to learn naturally, but they will learn in a way that is more memorable, rich and meaningful than classroom lessons or worksheets. You will be amazed at all of the ways that students learn and grow when they are able to spend time outdoors.

You Can Be a Role Model- Set an Example for Healthy Outdoor Living

Not only will you experience the health benefits of spending outdoors, but you can be an example for your students of how to get outside and live a life full of movement and vitality. Spending time outdoors with your students normalizes it and makes it a part of their everyday reality. They start to see spending time outside as something that they just do and not as a burden or a place where they don’t belong. This is especially important if students don’t have role models in their life that encourage them to get outside.

Try Something New- Outdoor Learning Allows You to Flex Your Creativity Muscles

Teacher burnout is definitely real. However, changing things up and trying something new and fun can help you to feel rejuvenated. If you are feeling like you are becoming disenchanted with the traditional indoor teaching lifestyle, why not try talking things outside? Outdoor learning allows you to stretch yourself and try something new. You will have the opportunity to use your creativity to challenge yourself to think outside of the box of a “traditional classroom.” Once you get the hang of it and start seeing the benefits for yourself, you will start to find more and more ways to take your curriculum outside.

Feel Proud- Change the World by Taking Learning Outside

If you want to make an impact on the future, taking your students outside on a regular basis is one of the key factors in raising citizens that care about the earth. Spending time outdoors with your students will not only allow your students to deepen their relationship with nature, but you will also be able to build a relationship with nature. Being able to see the wonder and awe in your students as they discover something new is amazing and can help you feel renewed purpose and joy in your teaching.

Now Get Outside and Experience the Benefits of Outdoor Learning…

The benefits of outdoor learning for teachers are just as important and impactful as the benefits for students. Take some time and start taking your learning outside. You will start to notice some of these benefits (like the mental health benefits) right away, others might take a bit more time (like years) to be able to see the difference. Know that you are taking steps towards making a difference in both your own teaching life and your student’s life.

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Get Outside With Your Students All Year…

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