As someone who missed out on playing outdoors as a child, Vanessa is passionate about spending time outdoors. Most weekends you can find her hiking with her husband, dog and occasionally two teenage sons. Despite growing research to support the benefits of outdoor play, Vanessa, like many educators, found it challenging to provide opportunities for outdoor play and learning. These challenges led Vanessa to pursue research in outdoor play as part of her Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education at UBC.
Vanessa continues to work as an early childhood educator and has been a post-secondary instructor since 2021 at both UBC and Douglas College, as she believes in the importance of remaining connected to the complexities of being an educator. Central to her teaching philosophy is helping students to make strong connections between early learning theory and their emerging practice.