The Forest Days Professional Learning Community (PLC) is designed to support teachers who lead on-going nature-based, environmental education with students in public schools. Forest Days programs typically take classes outside at least once per week to engage in hands-on, experiential outdoor learning on their school grounds or nearby green spaces walking distance from the school.
As teachers implement Forest Days outdoor learning programs, they benefit from guidance and support to best utilize their environment for learning and link to curricular standards. The PLC is a supportive space for teachers to develop strategies and practices that enrich this weekly outdoor learning experience for their students.
Forest Days often follows one of these paths:
Public school teacher serves as Forest Days Facilitator/Forest School Guide
Parent or volunteer serves as Forest Days Facilitator/Forest School Guide
Outside organization provides a Forest Days Facilitator/Forest School Guide
In each of these scenarios, the Forest Days facilitator needs professional development in approaches to nature-based education and can benefit from this PLC!
Over the course of the school year, teachers meet once per month for a total of 10 meetings to examine key topics as teachers problem-solve in real time to implement Forest Days programs. An ERAFANS facilitator leads each PLC session to provide resources and tools for topics such as:
Routines and daily schedules in the outdoor classroom
Essential tools for outdoor learning
Social-emotional skills, collaboration, and community building
The role of the teacher - partner and guide
Gear and supplies for students and teachers
Inquiry based learning - using questions to guide curriculum
Language and literacy outdoors
Documentation and assessment of weekly outdoor learning experiences
Nurturing values of empathy, compassion, gratitude, and respect
Approaches to risk management and safety routines outdoors
Communicating with families about Forest Days
Classroom curriculum connections- bringing the outdoors inside
When you register, we will share additional details including the link to our monthly Zoom meetings. We hope you can join this supportive professional learning community!