Jennifer McCormack (Geira Jen) offers educational consultancy for early childhood services, drawing upon experience teaching across all early years and primary settings, and nature play/forest learning. Jennifer is an accomplished storyteller, author, artist, nature pedagogue and ceremony keeper.
Jennifer has presented at national and local conferences including ECTA National Conference, Queensland Workforce Council, Inspired EC National Conference, National Nature Pedagogy Conference, local community kindergartens, child care centres and playgroups.
Numala Kinder Nature Play is based on the Gold Coast, Queensland, however interstate travel is available. Professional development services include training, workshops and speaking engagements. To engage Jennifer at your service for consultation or workshops, please use the contact form at the end of this page.
FULL DAY TRAINING (6 HOURS)
Vision, Philosophy and our Relationship to our Profession – move together through creative visioning processes to enliven, clarify and deepen our values, goals and vision for early childhood education. A workshop for the whole team to connect, inspire and re-align yourselves with a common goal for your work together in early childhood. Use creative arts techniques to create a visual to serve as a daily reminder of your goals.
Ecological Storytelling – Full day outdoor training in using traditional storytelling skills, with pedagogical discussion to respond to children’s play themes and experiences. Our particular focus is on using storytelling to foster deep connection to nature. We explore how to share stories we already know using oral storytelling skills and techniques. We also explore how to draw stories from children’s experiences, create new stories to connect children to their local environment and see what this looks like in documentation.
Practical Storytelling – Learn the art of oral storytelling, its benefits for children’s language and development, and how to write stories of your own. The first part of this training teaches the skills and techniques used to share stories with children without books, creating storytelling traditions and fostering imaginative dialogue, rich vocabulary and connected relationships. The second part of this training teaches how to write stories for children, building a collection of stories that are relevant to children in their own cultural, environmental and seasonal surroundings.
HALF-DAY TRAINING (3 HOURS)
Introducing Nature Play – supporting services to implement a nature-based curriculum within their local community, including daily nature experiences, sustainable education, risky play and respectful cultural relationships.
Practical Storytelling – Find your confidence in telling stories without books. Learn how to use voice, expression, gesture and simple props to share stories for children of all age groups. Create magic and wonder every story time.
Writing Nature Stories – Exploring elements of storytelling to write your own simple stories to tell children and create a culture of storytelling in your workplace and a collection of nature stories relevant to your local culture, environment and seasonal changes.
Artistry in Education – Educators are artists. Our craft is to observe, reflect, respond and create in collaboration with children. Jennifer discusses working with children using our artist eyes to frame our responses, co-construct our environment, and celebrate children’s play, projects and artistry. This is an opportunity to engage in practical skills including pastel drawing, watercolour painting, fibre art, and exploration with loose parts. Full day and half day training available.
EVENING SESSIONS (2 HOURS)
Shared Documentation – Begin the practice of shared journaling and reflections with children about their play, wonderings and learnings. Learn creative arts skills to assist children in documenting their own play.
The Craft of Teaching – a series of four evening sessions exploring practical craft skills, and creating projects to make with children, over snacks and pedagogical discussion about the value of hand crafts for children’s development and learning. Learn felt-making, finger-knitting, hand-sewing, weaving or nature crafts.
Storytelling Series – a series of four evening sessions exploring components of the practical and ecological storytelling workshops in bite-sized bits: storytelling techniques, writing short stories, storytelling in nature, storytelling documentation.
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT BOOKINGS – please use this form to book training for your service or to inquire about consultation.