Written by : Jie Sheng, a Forest School Practitioner in Malaysia
A lot of time in our Forest School session, children are given the opportunities to make decisions. ‘Should I jump?’ ‘Should I follow this path?’ ‘Should I move to this branch?’ Each decision making takes time and each time is a new experience to them. They take their courage with a certain fear to make each jump, leap, or go in an uncertain pathway that is out of their comfort zone.
Children in the authentic Forest School are constantly ‘training’ themselves in this way. Resilience is always built up by learning from mistakes. They fall, they learn. The very first time they made a mistake, the next time they would need more courage to overcome the fear of failure from the first time. As an adult, Forest School leader, coach, facilitator, or educator, all we should do is be present, silent, and observe the learning process. Sometimes we are so impatient to witness the whole process therefore we interrupt the child’s learning by commenting, judging, and even denying them.
Remember ‘there is no courage without fear’. We want our future generation to be brave and resilient. We want them to take charge of the future. We need to have the courage and be able to let go. We are afraid, we are scared, but we will see a courageous and confident child in the end.
Written by: Coach Jie Sheng