About

Hello, I am Victoria Hackett

victoria-hackettA TEACHER FROM THE BEGINNING….

As a child, I was the kid who played endless hours of “school” with my little chalkboard and classroom of imaginary students. Family vacations became opportunities to take my whimsical school on a wild adventure and long field trips.

Needless to say, I spent the beginning of my career as an early childhood professional teaching young children. Real ones, that is. I then ventured into different teaching arenas with different populations. I taught children, young adults, elders, able-bodied, physically challenged, emotionally disabled and elderly blind. I taught in preschools, after school programs, centers for elderly, nursing homes for Alzheimer’s patients, children’s gardens, college campuses and summer camps.

WOULDN’T IT BE GREAT IF?

As my teaching journey evolved, I began mixing and matching my passions. I am always anticipating, imagining and peering over the horizon, fascinated with the future. Starting unique programs became my signature. A dance program for elderly blind seniors at Boston Aid to the Blind was a favorite. When I noticed an elementary school across the street, I added an intergenerational element. Children and elders laughing and dancing together sparked a magical learning. I was hooked. I began mixing and matching my passions, creating one of a kind programs everywhere I went. Through these experiences, I have felt my once imaginary whimsical school come to life.

A POSSIBILITARIAN, DARING GREATLY…

Transformative adventures are great for creating life-long lessons. Looking back, the highlights have been running the Boston Marathon 11 times as a “back of the pack” runner, biking across the country with Bike Aid, raising money for world hunger, and getting married in our backyard garden. These were all adventures that taught me about courage and daring greatly. I am dazzled every day at the wonder of possibilities. I am reminded everyday that anything is possible when I look at my two kids, our restored old house, and our lush backyard garden.

WHAT IF?

Six years ago, as a parent of school-aged children, I wondered about the possibilities in a neglected school courtyard at my children’s school. What if? What if we transformed this space into an outdoor learning lab? I became obsessed with researching the idea and I organized a community of parents, teachers and children. We began digging and created what is now the Cove School Children’s Garden & Outdoor Classroom. This experience transformed my teaching journey.

I wanted to create a space for all those interested in teaching and learning outside. I wanted to create a space for educators to go for inspiration, connection and direction on how to “think outside” when teaching. Welcome to Outdoor-Classroom.com, my virtual classroom and an online community of Natural Teachers!

MANIFESTO:

Here is what I know for sure… we need to be playful again. Climb trees, laugh and embrace the child within all of us.

I want to live in a world where every child in every school has access to a children’s garden and the freedom to learn in an outdoor classroom.

I want to live in a world where children and elders are celebrated, love is honored and peace is worldwide.

I want to live in a world where edible landscapes, community collaborations, and thinking and teaching outside is the norm.

I want to live in a world where our differences fuel our passions and create a one of a kind fabric that equally represents all our given gifts.

Here is what I know for sure…we need to teach our children to become stewards of our environment to make sure the next generation will take care of it, and do this while connecting our generations and creating healthy communities.

“Professor Hackett is a wonderful educator and

works well teaching other educators.”

NSCC Student