By Anisa Baldwin Metzger
School District Sustainability
This week, the Center for Green Schools honored 10 teachers who are leading the way in environmental education. Our brand new "Trailblazing Teacher" award aims to honor teachers across the country who are working to bring sustainable learning into the classroom and their students' lives. We were flooded for applications for this award, and were humbled by the incredible work educators are undertaking to introduce creative ways to incorporate environmental components into their classrooms and curriculums.
This year’s awardees received $250 to advance sustainability efforts already in place, through the purchase of instructional equipment, curricular materials, event-related or field trip-related items or similar expenditures.
These 10 winning educators are just the first group of award recipients. We look forward to growing a network across the country, made up of stellar educators who can be examples for others. You can find out more about these award-winning teachers on our website but here’s just a taste of what you’ll find:
Kristine Denton from Nebraska has created several ways to use the concept of aquaponic farming with her sixth and seventh grade students. After hearing that a local shelter was lacking in fresh produce donations, students decided to donate their harvests every four to five weeks.
Kristin White from Alabama works with her sixth graders to monitor a nearby creek, measuring water quality and mitigating erosion. In addition to teaching, she initiated and is in charge of a weekly after-school recycling club called Project Grow, which has since expanded to work with student and teachers on issues of energy and water conservation as well as indoor air quality.
Banny Ackerman in Pennsylvania co-teaches a year-long, full-day watershed program at her school for seventh grade students. Watershed replaces the traditional seventh grade curriculum for a group of students, and skills and concepts are integrated around the specific study of a local watershed through a combination of classroom activities and site visits.
Like us, you’ll be blown away by the interesting ways these teachers are getting students outside, inspiring exploration and investigation and encouraging civic action. Be sure to take a look at the other teachers on our website, and stay tuned for the next round of Trailblazing Teachers later this year!