Simon is the lead for our mixed-age first and second grade class. Simon’s Zen practice, teaching experience, kind heart, and zest for natural learning environments made him an easy fit. We also love his English accent! We asked him to introduce himself:
I’m very honored to have spent almost fifteen years teaching children in many diverse settings. Whether I’ve been in a classroom in the UK, or a forest in Taiwan, I have always found something truly remarkable in witnessing children develop their relationships with life.
I obtained my Post Graduate Certificate in Teaching from Bishop Grosseteste College of Lincoln, in the UK, and taught elementary school in London for a number of years. My love of the outdoors brought me to the US to work as the director of The Children of the Earth Foundation, supporting children and families to develop deeper relationships with nature. This took me all over North America, from Central Park in NY to the Cree Nation in Quebec. It was in the natural world where the seedlings of my Buddhist practice were planted.
After moving to Colorado, I founded a non-profit, Wild Earth’s Children, continuing to support children’s connection with nature. I also enjoyed the opportunity to work with students and educators in Taiwan, through 7 Generations Outdoor School. (Side note: I’m excited to learn Chinese along with the children at Middle Way!)
It was in Colorado that I discovered Zen Buddhism and began a formal practice that has deepened over the years. Moving back to the East Coast, I entered residency at Zen Mountain Monastery in Mt. Tremper, NY, practicing fulltime for more than a year, in what has proved to be a life changing experience.
I’m deeply passionate about supporting children, nurturing their love for learning, and encouraging their curiosity. I’m fascinated by how we can develop a learning environment for children that fosters creativity, connection, and compassion. I’m excited to be part of the Middle Way vision and to walk this path together.