I am Denise Snyder, the lead teacher for the younger students at River Valley Nature School. I am beyond excited to have this amazing opportunity to weave together three of the things I value most in life: nature, children, and learning. I grew up with a love of all things nature and have happy memories of mixing mud pies, making forts, and making discoveries big and small. Sadly, I put away my nature wandering and wondering to pursue what some may call more adult endeavors. Years later, I was blessed to experience the joy and wonder of nature once again with my own child. I followed his lead in play as we mixed mud pies, built forts, and discovered anew; I haven't stopped nature wandering or wondering since! For the past two years as a lead preschool teacher, I have taken my class of young children to the forest weekly to experience this wonder for themselves. We played, observed, explored, built, and climbed—in all weather and in all seasons. Nothing compares to that beautiful, inquisitive spark that occurs when a child encounters nature in a personal meaningful way. A continued connection to nature feeds the body, soul, mind, and spirit. Nature has much to teach us.
"Observe and listen to children, because when they ask 'why?' they are not simply asking for the answer from you. They are requesting the courage to find a collection of possible answers." – Loris Malaguzzi
Education and Experience
- BS, Temple University, Architecture
- Program emphasized fine art, art history, design.
- 15 yrs homeschooling and serving homeschool community teaching art and science
- 2 yrs art teacher for children 3yrs through 8th grade, blending history, appreciation, and process
- 2 yrs lead preschool teacher in a Reggio Emilia inspired program, encouraging authentic relationships within a play-inspired, learning community.