Calling All Environmentally Conscious Teachers

Porscha Hayes Missouri Green Schools AmeriCorps VISTA

By Porscha Hayes,
Missouri Green Schools AmeriCorps VISTA

Designed for educators from all roles and environments, the Sustainability Institute for Educators challenges participants to help learners build awareness, recognize responsibility, and take action as global citizens working to build a healthier, more sustainable world. This year, Institute participants will explore the multidisciplinary nature of climate change. The Institute will take place June 20-22, 2023, from 8:00am-4:00pm daily. Each day will be hosted in a different location. Day 1 activities will take place at the Missouri Botanical Garden, Day 2 will be held at the Saint Louis Zoo and Day 3 will be hosted by Webster University.

The theme of the 2023 Institute is Climate Change Connections. Teaching about the climate crisis can be daunting, but is not insurmountable. Climate action is happening all around us. Teachers can help students move through the natural anxiety they may be experiencing to join in and spark new solutions-oriented action.

Through interactive sessions and local climate change expert presentations, educators will learn the basics of climate science and how to bring climate solutions to their learning spaces. Participants will explore how a range of disciplines can work together to understand and address the needs of climate change through education and youth engagement.

As a way to open the door to solutions-focused thinking and a problem-solving mindset, Saint Louis Zoo’s Hannah Phillips will facilitate positive and productive conversations about climate change. The Institute offers an opportunity for educators to bring these conversations back to their students through books. Educators can browse a selection of fiction and non-fiction books for children and teens geared toward increasing sustainability literacy and making concern for the natural community around them a part of daily living.

The Institute will lead participants on a quest to the pot of gold at the end of the Rainbow of Sustainability, a framework for integrating sustainability into the curriculum by connecting content with seven sustainability principles. All intrigued by a guide through the golden sustainability principles should register at www.webster.edu/sie. The conference cost is $125 and includes lunch. Scholarships and graduate credits are available.