EFS Leadership Academy Launches
This spring, we launched our new Education for Sustainability (EFS) Leadership Academy: Fifteen teachers eager to be part of a year-long community working to shape a better world.
How’d it come about? As with all our professional development programs, we listened to the teachers.
In 2007 we held our first Summer Institute on Education for Sustainability. The week focused on transforming the educators’ practice to use sustainability as a lens for curriculum, campus practices and culture, collaboration, and community partnerships. (The litany of “c”’s was not intentional!)
Since then, more than 100 wonderfully dedicated and inspired educators from around the country have joined us at the Coach Barn to think about how sustainability might be more than a lens; but rather the purpose of education. (More about EFS here.)
At the end of each institute, we’d hear from educators that the experience changed not only their practice but how they see themselves and their role in education. And many were looking for more. They wanted to be in a peer group of like-minded educators beyond the summer.
Enter the new EFS Leadership Academy! (after much ruminating and planning on our part.)
On a beautiful spring weekend, educators from near and far began a journey with us that will unfold over the year. We welcomed teachers, school leaders, sustainability coaches/coordinators, para-professionals, and nonprofit leaders.
To begin, we revealed (and reveled in) our desires to make positive change. Each participant responded to the question “what change do I want to make in the world?”
We dug into “what is the purpose of education?”, “what is our role in education?” and of course the surrounding natural landscape at the Farm. We got to know each other and each other’s stories over meals at the table.
Individually, we reflected on our EFS leadership capacities with a short activity exploring different facets of education (e.g., organizational change reflective practice, collaborative abilities). See where you stand on the Leadership Line-Up. There’s no judgement, no right answers, just good fodder for reflection.
Our next retreat in July will celebrate the bounty of the season and use the summer’s exuberance as a metaphor for our own practice. As with any good journey, we anticipate a year of opportunities, different paths, bumps in the road, amazing sights, and, of course, great sing-a-longs.
Hope to share some of them with you!