By Emily Mallen
In SEI’s Climate Corps Education Outside Program (CCEO), we plant the seeds of science and ecoliteracy to grow environmental leaders in two big ways — with the students we teach and with the cohort of 31 early-career, environmental educators we place in outdoor classrooms on school campuses in the San Francisco Bay Area. To support our educators as they enter the field of environmental education, we provide a rigorous training and professional development program. This semester, our educators have already participated in 88 hours of training! As we prepare them for their work in schools, we offer instruction on a wide range of topics from lesson planning, equitable teaching practices and best practices in the outdoor classroom, veggie gardening, community engagement, and more.
Join us as we take a look at some of the highlights from this semester of the CCEO training program!
We kicked off the school year with two weeks of orientation in August, gathering at the Children’s Garden in San Francisco’s Botanical Gardens to welcome the educators to the program. During orientation, we spent time building community with the cohort, learning basic gardening skills, and practicing teaching.
In September, we visited the local nonprofit Garden for the Environment, where Fellows learned about and practiced basic perennial pruning techniques and learned to propagate plants to continue building out their school gardens. That afternoon, Fellows learned about how to equitably teach students with disabilities, facilitated by a CCEO Fellow with a background and passion for the topic.
In October, Seed Minkin of Metamorph Mentorship, a previous CCEO Fellow, provided training related to supporting LGBTQIA+ students in the garden including practices related to pronouns and grouping of students. Later in the month, we visited Calibird Pollinator Sanctuary. Local food justice advocate Isaiah Powell led a tour of the garden, discussion about community engagement, and hands-on gardening practice.
Dr. Martha Merchant visited the CCEO team in November. She built upon her September visit and presented on trauma-informed teaching practices, helping the group understand behaviors that may be rooted in trauma while providing tangible tools for educators to utilize when these behaviors show up.
In December, we gathered for a community grounding meeting, discussed ways we might improve our program for all participants, students and educators, and had a holiday celebration!
We look forward to the spring semester where we will take a deeper dive into supporting multilingual students, career skill-building, an alumni panel, and much, much more.
Stay tuned for more from the CCEO program on the SEI social media channels!
A huge thank-you to our Fall ’22 training partners!
The SEI Team
Environmental education and workforce development experts share stories from the field