The Clime Time teacher training program gave 49 teachers a multi session opportunity to build their climate change understanding and science teaching practices during supported interactions outdoors on school grounds working with other environmental educators and local tribal partners.
Through assessment data, teachers continue to report positive changes about their knowledge, behavior, and attitudes about putting outdoor learning and climate science into action in their classrooms. This most recent year 49 teachers (K-8 th grade) from Whatcom County participated with 98% of teachers reporting they feel increased confidence for incorporating climate science into their classroom after the training.
Highlights included NSEA educators leading teachers through a tag game about marine food webs, connecting eel grass, salmon, and Orca whales. Tribal partners shared local resources of how to incorporate storytelling into ecological education, and expertise from the state shared how to connect resources with state science standards.
100% of teachers plan to use the outdoors in their lessons after attending and 100% would recommend to other educators.
Background/Funding/Future/Partners: Initiated in 2018, Washington State Legislature created a proviso to support climate science in education. The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) in partnership with the University of Washington offered grants to host “ClimeTime” professional development for teachers focused on Next Generation Science Standards, climate science, outdoor education strategies and an increased emphasis on traditional ecological knowledge through indigenous partnerships.
Four partner organizations, Common Threads, Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association, RE Sources, and Wild Whatcom, have joined together four years in a row to provide teacher professional development opportunities focused on bringing local climate change phenomena-based lessons to teachers of Whatcom County. This project maximized the strengths and expertise of several community-based organizations while utilizing existing programming and relationships with school districts and teachers.
Our unique approach: Funding from OSPI will continue to evolve this project to serve teachers in the 2022-23 school year bringing more field based professional development to Whatcom County teachers. This will ultimately benefit students understanding of the effects of climate change locally and design solutions to take action through their educational experience at school.
ClimeTime is made possible with the help from these partners and funders: Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, RE Sources, Common Threads, Wild Whatcom, Lummi Natural Resources, NW Indian College, NW Educational Service District