What To Wear Teaching Outside
What to wear teaching outside in Spring
Spring is a shoulder season that varies wildly across the country. In coastal BC, we hunker down for months of rain, and welcome the temps starting to warm up. In northern and eastern parts of Canada, spring is a very short season that often doesn’t really show up until winter has long overstayed its welcome. Wherever you are, you can count on wearing your winter clothing through most of spring, with maybe a few less layers. By spring, you may need to launder your outer wear, if you haven’t already. Keeping your gear clean will lengthen and improve its waterproof abilities. I use this technical wash duo for my gear. If you are keen to garden with your students, I’ve added a few garden specific recommendations for spring here as well!
- keep your gear clean and allow it to dry in a well ventilated space between work days.
- pay attention to the weather forecast, I often keep my winter or spring jacket in my car so I can switch if I made the wrong call.
- Garden gloves- switch out your winter gloves for garden gloves! Shop the sales, and find a pair that are snug. There’s nothing worse than wearing garden gloves that are too big for your hands! I also prefer a leather or suede palm instead of a latex coating. It is also worth spending a little more for gloves with reinforced finger tips!
- Wide brimmed hat– this time of year I switch to a wide brimmed hat to keep the rain and sun off my face.
Summer is the golden season of teaching outdoors! The weather is warm and there is so much new growth to explore. My summer gear is mostly the same as my fall gear. Add sunglasses to your summer stash, and any personal sun protection you might need like sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, or lip balm and you are good to go! To be honest, I find teaching all day in the full sun and heat way harder than being outside in the freezing rain. Be sure to pack lots of water and bring along some tarps to create shade shelters if you can’t get out of the direct sunshine.
- Lightweight shoes– I often switch to trail runners this time of year
- Personal sun protection- sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, lip balm
What to pack in all seasons
No matter the season you should be prepared with a few essentials. Here are a few sensible reminders for what to pack in your teacher go bag, wagon, or backpack:
- cellphone with school number programmed
- first aid supplies (bandaids, disinfectant wipes)
- epipens or any other necessary student medication
- class list
- hand sanitizer
- high visibility vest (recess duty vests)
- seasonal comfort items (sunscreen, hand warmers etc)
- extra layer of clothing (especially socks)
- full water bottle
- kleenex, or tissue paper squares, or wet wipes
- a small towel
- personal snack or lunch
- extra school supplies (extra pencils, extra paper, extra clipboards)
- a tarp for creating a shared gathering space
The good news is that if you normally spend money on back-to-school clothing, you can likely spend less on a few quality outdoor essentials than you might otherwise on an indoor wardrobe! Build up your stash of what to wear teaching outdoors over time and definitely take advantage of any hand-me-downs or second hand items you can source along the way!
If you are on Pinterest and are looking for design ideas for your outdoor classroom, join me here: