Reflections from the Summer Institute on Education for Sustainability

We’re riding high coming off a fantastic Summer 2012 Institute on Education for Sustainability— working with diverse educators from across the country in our collective EFS work was incredibly inspiring and transformative for all.  Here, in their own words, are what participants had to say:

“The collaboration was significant. Having a dedicated, supported time and space to work with, listen to, and consult others helped create a system of support that allowed my team to grow our ideas together. I cannot thank you enough for this. It was wonderful.”

 “The mindfulness pieces and the team time were essential elements of my EFS experience. I tend to be an active teacher who packs in too much in an effort to offer my students a rich education in the arts. I truly am resolved to just ‘sit’ more and slow down my space.”

“Experiencing the practices was vital -hearing AGAIN some key ideas like mindfulness and intentionality that had cropped up in completely different workshops I’ve attended this year had great impact on my believing (less traditional) practices like mindfulness (breathing, chimes, sit spot) can be part of a public school classroom practice and should be for promoting a happy, healthy, sustainable world humans are invested in.”

 “This institute has helped me understand the fundamentals of education for sustainability: environment, equity, economics. We were given time as a team to cultivate these ideas into a school mission.”

 “Enforcing the idea that although there may not be a team teaching sustainability at my school, I am part of an incredible team of educators all working for a common goal.”

 I learned by doing this week, so I know my students can benefit from the same. The great collaboration that happened this week reinforced the value and opportunity to keep working with my colleagues.”

 “I think the mix of free time, sit spots, and the relaxed atmosphere built within the workshop presentations was helpful to me. It would not have sunk in and became as meaningful without the time to process and relax and think— so much better than jamming in workshop session after workshop session like so many PD workshops do.”

“Team building and developing a sustainable language for dealing with special needs children was by far the most effective. A teacher can’t work in isolation - we are the sum of our parts.”

“I am not a classroom teacher but work with teachers. I had different objectives for learning than most of the group did, but my objectives were met, the content was extremely valuable to me.  I can apply what I learned here to my work with professional development for teachers at my site. It was amazing and inspirational!”

 “Rigor, relationships, and relevance in my mind have replaced the traditional ‘3Rs’.”

 “At this workshop, our team has been given the opportunity to work collaboratively in a way that would not otherwise have been possible. We have been faced with the constraints of time and pressure from a very busy schedule and the anxiety of an uncertain future of our school. This workshop has allowed us to develop a common vision and work to develop a plan for that vision under the lens of sustainability. We have finally charged batteries to facilitate change for our school and community. I have become empowered by this workshop to be part of this change.”

 “I loved my sit spot. It reminded me of the importance of taking care of myself when I feel like the ‘ship is going down.’”

 We hope to see YOU next summer!


Download a copy of this article here.

Download the entire Fall 2012 Newsletter here.

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