Professional Learning for Educators

Shelburne Farms’ professional learning programs prepare PK-12 educators to facilitate learning experiences for students with a lens of sustainability.  All of our programs support you in educating for a more healthy and just future. Grounded in the pedagogies of Education for Sustainability, we endeavor to support educators to see themselves as agents of change in a dynamic system.  Together we’ll cultivate a sense of joy and wonder for the world around us and share strategies to connect you and your students to social-ecological communities. Our team uses a research-based, relationship-driven approach to professional learning that supports you in building content knowledge, deepening your practice, accessing resources and making connections to your schools or organizations.

Our educator workshops are offered throughout the year, with many programs in the summer. To bring you the richest programming, we offer many of these workshops in partnership with other organizations. Many of our programs can be taken for graduate continuing education credits.

For questions, please contact our Director of Professional Learning, Jen Cirillo:   [email protected] 


Online Summer Programs in 2021:

Education for Sustainability Immersion:  For those who already have a strong foundation in Education for Sustainability, this month-long program will provide you with the opportunity to reflect, learn, and collaborate with a group of colleagues from across the country. Offered with University of Vermont.

Foundations in Education for SustainabilityTogether we’ll deepen our understanding of social-ecological systems, consider strategies for youth voice and agency, and practice change-making skills to transform the systems in which we work.  Offered with University of Vermont.

Local Action, Global Impact: the Sustainable Development Goals in My Neighborhood: A deep dive into the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Investigate this framework and apply the Global Goals to local, regional, and global contexts.

Year-Long Programs:

Northeast Virtual Farm to School Institute & Learning Community - Virtual Summer Retreat August 16–17. Applications are now closed for the current year. The Institute is a unique year-long professional learning opportunity for selected school, district, or early childhood teams from New England and New York. With the support of a coach, teams spend the school year putting their plans into action and strengthening their capacity to impact classrooms, cafeterias and communities, with change that lasts. This is a program of Vermont FEED, our farm to school partnership project with NOFA-VT.

Climate Resiliency Fellowship - Next cohort: 2022-2023 academic year. A year-long professional learning opportunity for educators committed to learning and teaching about climate change through interdisciplinary and place-based approaches.

Education for Sustainability Leadership Academy - Starts Summer 2022. A year-long, residential, leadership academy that brings together education leaders to form a peer network committed to better aligning education towards the goals of ecological integrity, economic vitality, and social justice. 

Forest for Every Classroom - Next dates TBD. Explore the wonders of the forest while you learn how to use it as an extension of your classroom. Connect with national and state standards, address education for sustainability goals, and enhance your place-based and service learning practices. Gain the skills, connections, content knowledge and insights to transform your classroom.

Watershed for Every Classroom 
In 2021 discover, The Wonder of a Watershed: Multiple Ways of Knowing and Teaching Place. This new hybrid program of the Champlain Basin Education Initiative is replacing Watershed for Every Classroom just this year. Learn more at link.
 WEC is a year-long professional development experience for K-12 educators in the Lake Champlain Basin of Vermont, New York and Québec.   


ABCs of Farm-Based Education:  Spend three days in hands-on, discussion and activity-based learning and explore Shelburne Farms’ dairy, farmyard, garden, and forest classrooms. This workshop is designed for farmers, farm-based educators, and non-formal educators.

Education for Sustainability: Summer Institute - 2022: Spend five rich days with colleagues from around the country at an informative and restorative institute created to give you the opportunity to deepen your understanding of Education for Sustainability. 

Project Seasons for Young Learners: Cultivating Joy & Wonder -2022: A week long exploration of hands-on activities, shared learning, and facilitated discussions to engage and inspire curriculum for early learners.

Transformative Leadership in Education for Sustainability - Online Spring 2022: A compliment to our EFS Leadership Academy, this month-long experience focuses on leadership practices and tools to transform yourself and your community. 

School-Based Programming

Sustainable Schools Project: Engage your students and improve your school using sustainability as an integrating context for your school’s curriculum, community partnerships, and campus practices.

Vermont FEED: Raise your school and community’s awareness about healthy food, the role of Vermont farms and farmers, and good nutrition.