September is here, school is back in full-swing and the proverbial “What did you do this summer?” assignment has been undoubtedly given out to students. But, we don’t often stop to ask what teachers may have done over their break.
For 15 teachers from Georgia-Pacific’s facility communities around the country, summer was spent attending one of two highly engaging and interactive educational training programs. So, knowing what these teachers did, we decided to ask a few of them what they learned.
We sponsored 11 teachers to attend Keystone Science School in Colorado, which focuses on ways to boost students’ critical thinking skills with fun and practical approaches to teaching environmental issues. Four teachers we sponsored attended Creeks to Coast, a Georgia Aquarium program that delves into understanding water issues, while making a trek from the north Georgia mountains to Apalachicola Bay, Fla., in the Gulf of Mexico.
The great thing about these two programs is that teachers bring back what they learned to their local classrooms. The programs focus on giving educators the skills to teach environmental issues while engaging and inspiring students, no matter what subject they teach. Some of the teachers we sponsored are sharing what they learned as guest bloggers and writing about how they plan to use their skills in the classroom.
One example is Nathan Knight, a 7th and 8th grade math teacher in Green Bay, Wis., who attended Keystone Science School. He explains why math plays an important part in researching environmental issues, such as graphing data collected for analysis. Environmental science teacher Amber Teare from Savannah, Ga., who attended Creeks to Coast, plans on developing an Adopt-a-Stream program and addressing water pollution with her high school students. Another teacher, Korri Ellis from Atlanta, Ga., also attended Creeks to Coast and was inspired to try role-playing with her students as opposing states to debate regional water issues.
Sponsoring local teachers, in addition to offering free resources on our Educational in Nature site, is all part of our commitment to keep environmental sustainability front-and-center and provide long-term value in the community.
Maybe it’s because we think teachers are great, but we’d give these teachers' summer assignments an “A+.”