Wellspring Nature School sprouted from thousands of unknown and known teachers-students-ancestors and the great mystery of life :) On a more finite level, it grew out of Ashley's dedicated commitment to being a apart of creating education that support children in living life in a way that deepens their capacity to grow up as kind and caring people in this time of great beauty, change, and suffering.
As a child she dreamed of being a teacher and always loved taking care of others. She spent many hours in the back yard, mixing up "perfumes" with smashed leaves and sitting on top of dirt piles. She was only fourteen years old when she got her first job in childcare. She immediately fell in love taking care of children and started on her path of work and study.
Over the last twenty years, she has worked as a childcare provider, teacher, infant development specialist, and somatic movement therapist. She has come across many teachers and collaborators that have informed her way. Her practice integrates wisdom from many frames of thought including Waldorf, Forest School, Attachment Theory, Somatics, and the 8 Shields model. Her formal education has included a BA in Child Development, an MA in Early Childhood Mental Health, and a certification from the School for Body-Mind Centering.
She is looking forward to inviting more family and teachers into Wellspring over the next few years!
"Our experience with the nature school was extremely positive. Our son had always had a hard time being at daycare so we were concerned he would have a hard time joining Ashley's class but her love for children is so evident that right from day 1 he felt completely at ease. Every day he would return from nature school with a huge smile, singing songs, interacting well with other kids and pleasantly dirty from learning about nature. It was an extremely positive first impression for our son of what a teacher can be and what a learning environment can feel like."
This group is a way for the kids to play connect with the outdoors in all weather, even on days when I want to stay inside. My boys absorb Ashley's love and respect for nature and for each other. Ashley understands who my kids are and where they are at developmentally, and she uses that to tailor activities and projects that best suit them. Because of Ashley's group, my kids can identify wild plants and their usages, and have a love of the earth that goes beyond what I could pass to them.
It's hard to describe how kind and gentle Ashley is with my boys. She is my role model on how to parent respectfully. When I struggle as a parent, I go to her for informed and respectful perspective and suggestions. When I see my boys acting with kindness and empathy, I know Ashley helped foster it. We are grateful to have her in our lives.
Ashley is awesome. She is attentive, respectful, and authentic in her communication with the children. I appreciate her encouragement of the kid's connection to nature as well as her listening and responding to the emerging curriculum. Highly recommended!