Pat Andrews

Pat Andrews

While growing up frolicking in the natural spaces in Toronto and remote islands in Georgian Bay, my connection to nature deepened. I wanted to be a teacher from a very early age, but I also wanted to explore the world. From bicycle adventures through Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, to kayaking/canoeing/sailing adventures, the travel bug became a symbiotic part of my life ecosystem. In between these travel explorations I began my teaching career.

From swimming instructor to Forest and Nature school owner, my passion for learning and spirit of adventure has been supported and deepened through homeschooling my children, teaching in the public school system, being a music teacher, Montessori teacher, Waldorf Remedial teacher, Forest School Practitioner, Director of Natural Pathways Learning Centre, and co-facilitator for The Child and Nature Alliance. When not teaching, you can find me exploring trails, sailing, doing yoga, cooking, mindfulness meditation, and reading. Having recently moved to BC to be closer to family, exploring this land is a gift.

I am excited to be joining Hand-in-Hand Nature Education! Through my experiences, I have been gifted a passion for re-connecting children and nature, through supporting and nurturing their curiosity. I believe in children’s capacity, capability, resiliency and ability to be optimistic about the future and confident that they can make a difference.

Vanessa Simmonds

Vanessa Simmonds

Through many years of working with children in various settings, and with a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Care & Education, I have come to believe the early years are by far the best years to spend outdoors. With rich imaginations, an insatiable curiosity and a love for experimenting, I think time spent in nature beautifully compliments a preschooler’s need to explore their world. Preschool aged children have the delightful gift of being able to turn ‘nothing’ into something and I think nature’s plenty allows for children to use its
materials to do so. No toys are needed outside because nature provides endless ways for children to explore with their bodies and their minds. It is my experience hat children (and adults) are able to feel a sense of calm, adventure and wonder in natural settings that cannot be mimicked indoors.

After spending most of my life in Vancouver, I moved to the Comox Valley in 2017. In addition to being a great place to start a family, it has allowed me more time outdoors and to rekindle my relationship with nature. It seems fitting that I now have the opportunity to combine my work as an educator with my love of nature. I am thrilled to be a part of the Hand-In-Hand Team and to spend my mornings exploring alongside your children.

Hannah Henderson-Ante

Hannah Henderson-Ante

I was born and raised on Vancouver Island with nature as a solid guide and companion to love and understanding of the world around me. I spent my childhood hiking, camping, canoeing, and exploring in nature. As an adult I still embrace and incorporate nature adventures on a regular basis as a way to maintain peace and understanding in my everyday life. I have always loved working and spending time with children, especially in nature, as I believe creative capacity opens up when exploring freely in nature. My background involves summer day camps, various childcare programming, early childhood education, and Kindergarten to grade 12 teaching. My passion and focus of health and wellness education goes hand in hand with nature education. When I was teaching in Tahsis and Kyuquot I especially enjoyed getting kids outdoors and being a part of the wonder and exploration in nature that fosters self esteem, confidence, endurance, creativity, and joy. I am excited about spending my days exploring in nature with your little enquiring minds, and learning as much from them as they will from me.