We exist to help you

connect the children in your life

with the awe and wonder of the natural world. 

 

 

UPCOMING  SPECIAL EVENTS  

 

In-Person, Forest School Studio Sessions 

On-site with Dr. Jean Lomino in Chattanooga, TN

Customed designed and individualized to meet your needs.
Summer Savings discount available.

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 In-Person, Forest School Director Certification

On-site with Dr. Jean Lomino in Chattanooga, TN

July 24-26

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In-Person, Forest School Teacher Certification

October 16-18

Cleveland, TN

 

Click HERE to Learn More about Special Events

Online Forest School Certification Courses Now Enrolling!

Introduction to Forest School

July 22-24

3 LIVE sessions


For those who want to learn more about this global movement, the principles that define it, and the benefits it provides.

 

Click here for details!

Forest School Teacher Training

July 29 - Aug 9

10 LIVE sessions


For those who want to deepen their understanding of child development and hone their teaching skills in nature.

Summer Savings discount available (Jul/Aug & September).

Click here for details!

Forest School Director Training

August 12-23

 10 LIVE sessions


For those who serve or plan to serve as school leaders, heads of schools, school founders, and/or curriculum directors.

Summer Savings discount available (July & August).

Click here for details!

How-to Guide

Caregiver & Child Program

7 Recorded Sessions, View at Your Own Pace


Inspired by LEAP Outside, this wonderful, one-of-a-kind resource is for those who wish to create a community-based infant/toddler/preK program. Includes four seasons of lesson plans, pre-recorded coaching sessions from LEAP founder Evie Wilkinson, and MANY, MANY downloadable shortcuts. 

Click here for details!

Since June of 2016, the Forest School Teacher Institute (FSTI) online and in-person certification courses has provided guidance and inspiration to nearly 1,000 educators (homeschools, public and private schools, nature-based programs) in 44 states and ten countries. 

FSTI training and certification is endorsed by the MSED in Outdoor Teacher Education at Southern Adventist University in Collegedale, Tennessee.

Reclaiming the roots of education!

  • We¬†believe¬†in the holistic benefits of nature-based learning for children.
  • We endeavor to heighten awareness of the importance of understanding child development in learning environments.
  • We¬†seek to contribute to¬†sweet communion through networks of support, inspiration, and¬†collaboration.Our methods include: forming authentic relationships,¬†offering¬†LIVE online certification courses, facilitating on-site training, providing affordable consulting services, organizing regional retreats, and¬†helping envision sustainable¬†site development plans.¬†

Diversity Statement 

The Forest School Teacher Institute strives to create and support a joyful community of learners that includes individuals from diverse educational backgrounds and life experiences. All are welcome, regardless of racial and ethnic origin, gender identity, sexual orientation, social economic status or religious beliefs. 

"It all began when I visited my grandson at his preschool . . . "

 

In 2014 Dr. Jean Lomino retired from a long and passionate career as a
teacher and environmental education leader. Her retirement plans were
quickly transformed during a visit to her young grandson’s preschool.
While talking with the owner, Diana Meadows, she discovered they
shared the same dream of taking children’s learning into the forest. And
just like that, Wauhatchie Forest School was born. Within six years, that
little school of 12 children grew its enrollment to over 200 students on
four different sites, and Jean began her new mission as advocate for all
children having access to nature.  She founded the Forest School Teacher
Institute which has sparked hundreds of graduates to take children
outside in communities around the world.

I was worried I wasn't qualified or did not have enough resources. I learned that forest school comes in all shapes and sizes, and you can personalize your little pocket of outdoor learning to suit your hopes and desires for the community around you. Five months after completing the certification, we opened our school. Without FSTI and the instruction and continued mentorship provided, we would not have been able to form such a great program. We have loved this experience for the community and for our family. 

-- Shelly Tyler, (2020 FSTI Cohort) founder of Fiddlewood Farm and Forest School

Thank you so much for teaching us about forest kindergarten. We all enjoyed it so much!  It helped us understand the importance of nature study. We learned to love and appreciate nature through this experience. We will remember all that we learned from you and use it to become teachers who inspire our students to love nature. 

--From your beloved students (2019) of Samyook University, South Korea

Our students are learning and growing in nature! These past two years have truly been some of the most wonderful experiences of my teaching career. I am looking forward to growing the forest school program here and also growing personally in my own love of nature. I want to thank you again for your training, guidance, and support. 

-- Nickey Ankar (2020 FSTI Cohort) founding teacher of Forest Kindergarten at Lookout Valley Elementary School

The training and support provided by FSTI were essential to me in building my program!  The training was comprehensive and gave me both inspiration and the practical knowledge that I needed to bring my vision into reality. After only six months from the start of my training, I was able to open my program at full capacity. I have also appreciated the ongoing support from FSTI staff in the form of updates, resources, and opportunities for collaboration with other forest school leaders. If you have an interest in outdoor learning and are thinking of applying to FSTI - Just do it! You will be happy you did! 

-- Shannon Hodges (Spring 2022 Cohort) Founder & Director, Morning Song Forest School, Lawrence, Kansas

The June 2024 studio session with Dr. Jean Lomino was an inspiring and informative experience. The variety of Forest Schools in the Chattanooga area is so rich and vibrant that it's hard to come away from the studio session without your head swimming in new thoughts and ideas about how the Forest School philosophy could be implemented in your own program. I would recommend the studio sessions to anyone looking for a better perspective on the flexibility of the Forest School movement.

--Stephen Pullom, June 2024 Studio Session

"Jean, I needed to hear about your journey to forest school and the Forest School Teacher Institute. Thank you for helping me understand how to use the gifts, desires, and places I've been given to live abundantly and for the good of others."

--Tamara Goda, Giving Gardens of Indiana, 2024 Forest School Hybrid Training

 

 

What the best and the wisest parents want for their own child, that must the community want for all children.

-- John Dewey, 1907