My Teaching Philosophy

Life is an open book test.  If you have been taught life skills -- like discipline, empathy, problem solving, and passion-- you will always pass. 

About Me

My entire life can be defined by a single moment that occurred in September of 1995--at the age of nine, I joined the year round swim team.  What began as an outlet for a hyper active child, quickly became a three-hours-per-day  seven-days-per-week extra curricular activity.  The dedication level of the sport was brutal, the physical and mental demands were exhausting, but the opportunities for positive learning experiences were limitless.  After eleven hard years, I had grown into a successful, independent, hard working, confident, and passionate young woman.  Swimming was the vehicle that taught me all the life lessons that shaped who I am today.

When my swimming career came to a close in 2007, I made the simple and obvious transition from swimmer to coach and dedicated my life to teach young athletes the same important lessons I had experienced through the sport.  Six year later I found myself struggling with the competitive learning atmosphere of athletics, where outcome was valued more than the learning process. 

Finally in August 2011, my eyes were opened to the outdoor experiential education field during a backpacking trip.  I stumbled upon a group of 'at risk' youth learning in the outdoor classroom of Yosemite National Park.  It was then that I realized the obvious-- swimming is not the only vehicle used to teach positive life skills.  Outdoor education contains infinite opportunities for developing life long learners and positive members of society.

A year and a half later, I found myself in Mankato, MN pursuing my Masters in Experiential Education from Minnesota State University under the mentorship of Outward Bound's Jasper Hunt.  I developed a strong understanding of brain based learning theories and Experiential Education, which strengthened my teaching and facilitation skills.  This confirmed my belief from years before:  the process--not the product-- is the most important aspect of learning, and reflection is the key piece to the equation.

I am a lifelong learner and I intend on teaching others how to become intrinsically motivated life long learners as well.


Thank you,

Toni Armstrong