Krystal Cretecos - Outdoor Enthusiast

Krystal Cretecos is a kindergarten teacher who believes that teaching in this class was a calling. During COVID, a group of parents decided to reach out to Krystal because they didn’t want their five-year-olds to spend all day on a computer. So, they decided to come up with the idea of setting up a kindergarten during COVID. While the primary idea was okay, Krystal and the group thought that it would be best to have the kids learn and play outside where there are no risks of contracting the virus. Outside, the children learn about nature, togetherness, and play together since they can’t really grasp a lot when learning on computers.

Her Training Process to Become a Teacher

Krystal currently holds a degree in both Anthropology and Psychology, but she also went back to school to teach English as a foreign language. Generally, Krystal has spent most of her time teaching people from different walks of life.When she first came to Taos, Krystal started teaching poetry but later got involved in teaching other things. According to her, the teaching process is constantly evolving, and she has to be a student first before teaching others, which is a job she loves.

Growing Through Poetry

Growing up in a family or community that didn’t embrace the expression of emotions, Krystal struggled to find a way to communicate hers. Eventually, she bumped into poetry, and she considers writing therapeutic since then.From her realization, Krystal decided that she would share her knowledge and experience so that other young people in the society can better articulate their thoughts and emotions through poetry.

How Krystal Teaches 5-Year Olds

For her, fun and freedom have really helped her achieve the best out of this project. However, she does have clear boundaries for every child under her supervision right from the beginning.So, Krystal doesn’t force the children to memorize everything but teaches them to have fun while learning, making the whole experience fun and effective.

Desires to Upgrade Her School

According to Krystal, she would love to expand her services into a whole school that can accommodate children up to the 12th grade. However, she believes funding is the main issue because there are no federal funds to support a cause like the one she has.So, this would mean that parents would have to pay out-of-pocket  to foresee the development of such a project, which isn’t always ideal.

Her Suggestions to Get Funding

Krystal believes that grant funds could help build schools that focus more on forestry and outdoor education. But for now, she’s looking to partner with people in the same industry to see if they can work together and eventually qualify for grant funding.

Krystal’s Experience from Working with Children

From working with children, Krystal has learned that the primarily young follow by action rather than words. So, she has had to be very present with herself to make her lessons more adequate to the children learning from her.

Her Message to Parents Who Haven’t Tried Forest Schools and Outdoor Education

According to Krystal, she believes that this learning technique works perfectly well for young children. There is even enough evidence to prove just how effective this form of learning is suitable for young children.Therefore, she urges parents, other teachers, and even larger organizations to embrace this new way of teaching young children for better results.

Interview and photos by: True Kids 1