Jumping out of Comfort Zone – What Nature has to Offer for Supporting Unemployed Youngsters?
by Niina Rautiainen, Project Manager, Project manager, Community educator, Teacher and Wilderness guide, Tampereen seudun Työllistämisyhdistys Etappi ry, Luontopolkua eteenpäin Project
Blog Guest (please see Part 1)
New research project of Jyväskylä University raise up the meaning of interaction and athmosphere in school environment (Vanas 2017). Research scientists from Jyväskylä university says ”nothing works, if interaction does not work”. The reaserchers say that it would be good to get teachers to explore attitudes that they have on interaction situations and how teachers face their students. Wenström (2017) writes that several studies indicate that encouraging and approving atmosphere supports commitment on completing studies. According to Wenström the emotional athmosphere of the classroom is almost as important as students skills and talent.
I think that we could use more learning environments outside of traditional class rooms, for example the nature environment. Our youngsters have said many times that nature calms their mind and creates a peaceful space where it’s easier to start thinking about life and future from different aspects. New environments will also help to get to know each others better, work together as a team, face new situations and to solve promlems. By learning new skills and doing new things it is also easier to find your strengths and abilities which could be improved. The skills that are essential in life are generally generally useful in work too.
”It was empowering that everybody accepted me as who I am. I noticed that I am not a bad person.”
”A good group creates genuine and honest space where it is easier to process personal life. It also allows to do things that are not possible to do alone. Faith grows step by step.”
”I learned that different kind of people are resource and together we can do great things!”
”Most challenging was to practise social skills. In this workshop I learned to trust myself and others more, to be braver and more open. I also learned many useful skills in life. ”
” I have courage, I can trust other people and I have the ability to continue to walk my own path.”
Teachers, youth workers, social workers etc. should remember that everyone are unique and can achieve great things in life! Sometimes our students or customers need someone to remind them about it! If the path is lost, it’s good to have someone beside you when you set a new bearing to your compass and take the very first steps. One of our youngsters said once quite wisely: ”Although you cannot see the path, it doesn’t mean that it does not exist.” It’s there, waiting for you to find it! Explore, dream, discover!
Tampereen seudun Työllistämisyhdistys Etappi ry and Luontopolkua eteenpäin project of Etappi (STEA) have a good partnership in introducing Vocational Education and Training to umeployed young students, looking for their own path, motivation and strength. Also, TAKK is hosting a Luontokuvista Valoa ja Voimaa elämänpoluille photo exhibition.