Professional Development Workshops

ReForest London through its Trees for Teachers program offers the unique opportunity to participate in any number of four (4) free professional development workshops for all teachers and educators.

Through the Trees for Teachers professional development workshops teachers will receive all the resources and requisite skill-development to confidently and fully participate in the Trees for Teachers program. As well as be given a toolkit that arms teachers with an arsenal of additional lesson plans, activities, and community connections to better engage and foster the learning spirit in their students.

Throughout the 2022 summer, there will be four (4) unique in-person professional development sessions hosted at the Westminster Ponds Centre; a budding environment and sustainability centre in the heart of London, Ontario. Teachers can choose to participate in as many workshops as they choose, with workshops varying from 3-hours to a half-day in length.

Topics covered include:

  • Community engagement
  • Social emotional learning
  • Outdoor classroom development
  • Urban forestry hiking
  • Sustainability in the classroom
  • Tree planting
  • Seedling growing
  • And more!

Workshops

All workshops are held in-person at the Westminster Ponds Centre. Pre-registration is required as spots are limited to provide an interactive and personal development opportunity. Learn more about the individual workshops by clicking a button below.

Please note that priority in the Trees for Teachers program for Schoolyard Plantings and Seedling Kits will be given to PD participants

The Nature Classroom

Step outside of the confines of four walls and redefine what is a classroom. The Nature classroom is an interactive workshop that supports the integration of outdoor and environmental education into your classroom, regardless of your teaching experience or grade level.

Through this workshop each teacher will be fully immersed in the experience of creating the outdoor classroom with their school and students in mind. There will also be examples of curriculum connections and modelling of hands-on-learning opportunities to fully prepare teachers to implement their learnings in their own classrooms.

Date: Wednesday August 3

Time: 9am-3pm

In this workshop you will:

  1. Learn how to utilize elements of co-design to develop an outdoor classroom tailored to the unique needs of your classroom, with a focus on inclusivity.
  2. Model activity development and practice implementation.
  3. Review curriculum connections and make creative adaptations for alternate activities that fit your school environment
  4. Learn unique methods for engaging your students in both their curricular and environmental learning.

As a participant you will gain:

  • The ability to create an outdoor classroom/learning environment
  • Knowledge on incorporating environmental education both indoors and outdoors
  • Adaptable lesson plans to fit to your students centered around outdoor experiential learning
  • A curriculum guide that connects activities to grade appropriate curriculum
  • Hands-on experiential learning opportunities
  • Networking with other teachers that value environmental education.

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From Nature to Nurture

Date: Wednesday August 10

Time: 9am-3pm

Social and emotional learning is an integral part of education and student development. Through integrating the learning experience with nature, teachers will learn how to help their students acquire the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities; manage emotions and achieve personal and collective goals; feel and show compassion for others; establish and maintain supportive relationships; and make responsible and caring decisions.

In this in-person workshop Teachers will learn and apply the requisite steps to undertake the process of a schoolyard planting from start to finish with their class. Through the process teachers will use activities to cultivate student learning in various curriculum areas including math, art, science, physical education, French, and more, with social and emotional learning at the foundation. Upon completion, teachers will be equipped to fully participate with their students in the Schoolyard Plantings part of the Trees for Teachers Program.

In this workshop you will:

  1. Learn how to use Free mapping software to create site plans with your students
  2. Participate in site design and learn how to test a site to determine the best tree species for it
  3. Become confident in leading a schoolyard planting using the Reforest London Planting Rules
  4. Receive resources and guidance on how to smoothly navigate the process and seamlessly integrate preparation activities into our classroom.

As a participant you will gain:

  • Prioritization for the schoolyard planting in the Trees for Teachers program.
  • Knowledge on incorporating cartographic technology into the classroom
  • An activity calendar with curriculum connections, laying out a schoolyard planting from start to finish
  • Hands-on experiential learning opportunities
  • Additional classroom resources on aftercare for your trees.

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The Environmental Educator’s Playbook

Did you know there are a plethora of environment and socially-focused organizations and groups within the London community that can help make learning real for your students? The Environmental Education Playbook, will give teachers a foundation to move beyond the textbook, help their students become community engaged, and create an immersive learning experience that improves student outcomes.

Date: Wednesday August 17

Time: 9am-12pm

Partnering with community groups can provide meaningful, integrated learning for all. And it’s easier than you think! In this workshop teachers will explore the possibilities local environmental groups, conservation authorities, and national organizations have to offer that will help you move from theory to praxis. These authentic experiences will motivate and empower your students to contribute towards positive change in their communities daily.

As a participant in this workshop you will:

  1. Learn how to navigate the London Environment Network and its many member organizations to provide learning opportunities for your students
  2. Learn about Sustainable Development Goals and incorporating them into your classroom with fun and exciting lessons
  3. Leave with the Environmental Education Playbook and a basic game plan for success.

Come and check out the playbook of practical tools and strategies to make sustainability a consistent part of your classroom.

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Grow with Me: Seed to Seedling

Date: Wednesday August 24

Time: 9am-12pm

The Westminster Ponds Centre’s Seed Hub presents a unique professional development opportunity to utilize the growing of seedlings as a powerful multi-subject learning tool for the classroom. Through this professional development, teachers will be equipped with creative tools and methods that will engage students, improve learning retention, and bring clarity to the assessment of environmental education in the classroom.

Teachers will participate in a workshop with indoor and outdoor elements, designed to illuminate the power a simple seed has to drive student learning. The interactive workshop guides teachers through applying the life-cycle of a seed to their unique classroom situation, while making direct curriculum connections to meet assessment goals.

Participation affords you:

  • Practical skills for incorporating environmental education into the unique context of your classroom
  • Access to adaptable lesson plans and unique resources that are grade-appropriate and fit your students
  • Hands-on learning opportunities
  • Networking with other teachers that value environmental education
  • Prioritization for the Seedling Kits in the Trees for Teachers program.

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Teacher Professional Development

“What a fun, informative, and engaging workshop! Definitely one of the best professional development sessions I have ever attended! Great facilitation, great opportunity to network with other teachers, and many great cross-curricular lessons to bring back to my classroom! Thank you!What a fun, informative, and engaging workshop! Definitely one of the best professional development sessions I have ever attended! Great facilitation, great opportunity to network with other teachers, and many great cross-curricular lessons to bring back to my classroom! Thank you!”
-Amanda Truelove, Grade 6 Teacher, Knollwood Park Public School