For the better part of the last year, Green Schools National Network (GSNN) has been going back to its roots: assuming a greater role as a convener and distributor of green school best practices, resources, and knowledge through its revamped GreenNotes newsletter, blog, and newly launched Green Schools Catalyst Quarterly and Catalyst Schools and Districts Network. One other area that GSNN has a deep interest in is professional development for teachers and school leaders. Schools and districts invest time and resources in supporting teacher and leadership development, and the constantly shifting landscapes of education and sustainability require that educators keep abreast of the latest research, trends, and tools to support 21st century learning in their classrooms.
Encouraging continual professional development is one thing; finding and providing high-quality opportunities, especially those centered around sustainability and education for sustainability (EfS), can be difficult. Let’s face it: those of us who are recognized as leading professional development providers do not have the infrastructure in place to scale up fast enough to accommodate the number of educators interested in learning more about applying EfS in the classroom, let alone all sectors of a school system. This is where GSNN’s PD Collaborative comes in.
GSNN’s approach to offering and sharing professional development opportunities is firmly grounded in our core values of providing visionary leadership to identify new ideas and ways of transforming schools and communities; emphasizing collaboration, with the goal of strengthening, improving, and expanding sustainable learning communities; connecting educators to resources and to each other; and fostering a growing network of like-minded individuals working together for the greater good and the greatest impact. As a leader in supporting teacher and leadership development in green, healthy, and sustainable schools, GSNN has scanned the landscape to invite a select group of professional development providers to join a PD Collaborative.
GSNN’s PD Collaborative focuses on shared leadership among the select organizations, a pooling of resources if you will, to offer schools and districts a wide range of professional development opportunities that are rooted in research-based practices that support teacher, school, and district transformation. Our initial cohort of organizations, which includes the Biomimicry Institute, the Cloud Institute, Community Works Institute, Creative Change, EcoRise, and Shelburne Farms, provides professional development opportunities based on best practices as highlighted in the 2015 Mirage Report published by TNTP (formerly The New Teacher Project). In addition to supporting excellent pedagogy and curriculum design, each organization supports the integration of sustainability and EfS concepts and principles across the curriculum and school operations.
I invite you to check out the first edition of the GSNN PD Collaborative Professional Learning Catalog. I expect the number of offerings in the catalog to grow as we identify other professional development providers with a national and regional scope that meet our high standards for professional learning. If your organization is interested in being featured in an upcoming edition of our catalog, and your organization’s work is grounded in best practices related to green, healthy, and sustainable schools, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.