For 13 years Jonna served as the Administrative Director at a small progressive school. This experience gave her a variety of hands on training opportunities in everything from substitute teacher, parent education, faculty training, program planning, and creating dynamic classroom environments. With an eye to developing her teaching skills she began teaching full time in 2016. During that time, Jonna created an outdoor education program, a hands on tinkering space for construction and art projects, and continued to work with parents and children to better understand how their behavior and communication affected their relationships. She is very grateful for her time at Roseville Community School and the mentoring it provided.
Jonna is now excited to take her experience and build a new type of learning environment for both children and adults. Jonna attended the Forestry Institute for teachers in the beautiful Stanislaus National Forest where she became inspired and certified to use Project Learning Tree and Project Wet curriculum. Recently, Jonna attended the conference, Thriving in the Outdoors: Social and Emotional Learning in Nature put on by California AEOE. This further reinforced her dedication and belief in the important role outdoor education plays in a child's development.
In addition to her love of outdoor education, Jonna has become a believer in and practitioner of the Barton Tutoring Program, a reading and spelling program that utilizes the Orton-Gillingham Method. With her remarkable ability to connect with students and her non-judgemental way of instructing, Jonna has helped numerous students overcome their frustrating reading and spelling difficulties. Read more here about Jonna and Barton.
Her current curiosities are all about birds and mushrooms!
Tai spent 2013-2018 in the development and execution of a full time gardening program for 6-12 year olds at Roseville Community School. What started as a once a week volunteer position, soon become a passion and an opportunity to hone her natural teaching abilities. She found that the garden was unique in its ability to engage children in authentic and purposeful learning. She was lucky enough to receive hands on training in the Progressive Education model at Roseville Community School and received training for garden education through classes at Soil Born and Life Lab in Santa Cruz. During her time at Roseville Community School, she also acted as Program Coordinator overseeing program planning, parent education, and faculty coordination in the progressive education model.
Using both her organizational skills and love of nature literacy, Tai teamed up with Jonna Vance to create The Curiosity Collective. Serving primarily homeschoolers, Tai believes curiosity and the outdoors are the quickest way to accessing intrinsic motivation and authentic learning.
In 2019, The Collective both presented at and attended the Play Conference at Roseville Community School. Tai was able to soak up inspiration from Play-Based proponents like Dan Hodgins, Micheal Lehman, and Sally Swiatek. Since then she has continued to be inspired by attending other lectures and conferences such as Thriving in the Outdoors: Social and Emotional Learning in Nature put on by California AEOE and David Sobel's, Placed-Based Education Childhood and Nature.
She loves spending hours in her garden where she finds inspiration for new workshops, making and eating delicious food, and hanging out with her family and friends. Her newest curiosites are photography and nature journaling.