Amber Arvidson, 2nd-4th Grade Teacher

I have always had a passion for learning and a deep curiosity about our natural world.  I grew up in Montana, surrounded by the intense beauty of the land attended a Montessori elementary school that really helped cultivate my love of the outdoors.  I still remember drawing plants and protozoan and camping and hiking with my classmates.  I majored in Resource Conservation and Sociology (rural and environmental change emphasis) with a Wilderness Studies minor at the University of Montana.  I also spent time studying and exploring in Iceland and Germany.  After graduating, I decided I wanted to live closer to the earth and learn to live more directly off the land.  I ended up living in Oregon and Northern California in a tipi, a yurt, my tent, out of my backpack and living on various farms and homesteads learning bits of permaculture, cob building, goat raising and cheese making, and falling in love with medicinal plant medicine.  I studied herbal medicine at Blue Otter School in northern California as well as with Desert Tortoise Botanicals in the southwest.  I ended up living in the Sonoran desert based out of Tucson, Arizona for about four years working for the Park Service doing trail crew and restoration work, while learning as much as I could about the native plant medicine and wild edibles.

I experience a lot of joy watching children’s natural love of learning and their innate curiosity about the world.  What draws me to teaching is the desire to foster and cultivate the growth of each child’s natural desire to understand themselves and the world they live in.   I want to help them to know themselves, to know how to learn, how to relate to other people, be part of a community, and follow their passions.  I want to create an environment that encourages them to ask the questions they have and the tools to go about finding answers.  Working at Running River really is a dream come true, combining so many elements of what I care about.

I have taught 2nd-3rd grade (all subjects) for the last 3 years, but also taught a class we call "Plant Potions" to the younger and older classes.  I have taught K-1 math, and led outdoor education experiences for all grades.  I have taught multi-age groups of children how to care for our chickens and garden and it has been a great pleasure to watch them become confident and independent stewards.