Spending time in nature is a sustainability practice I want to maximize this summer and throughout the coming school year.
My husband took this photo a few weeks ago when we were cycling with our daughter near our home in Ontario.
In the midst of busy end-of-year schedules, there is so much to do and I know your plates are full right now. Congratulations on finishing (or getting ready to finish) the 2021/22 school year. There have been so many challenges and tragedies this year, and the work that you do with your students every day is a grounding and positive force.
The end of the year always puts me in a reflective mood, and I usually find myself thinking about what went well throughout the year, as well as what didn't go so well, and where I want to design change for the upcoming year. I'm guessing you do this, too.
Perhaps you want to redesign a specific learning experience or unit plan.
Perhaps you want to try some new techniques or approaches to engage students and bring more creativity or innovation into your classroom.
Perhaps you want to be more deliberate with leading your students to engage with:
* health and well-being
* global citizenship
* purposeful service and action
I have been thinking a lot about deepening my sustainability practices (individually and with students), and recently found myself talking about this with a former student (Iffany Z). Our conversation might spark some ideas of ways you could embed more sustainability into your curriculum and into your own personal lifestyle next year.
If you haven't heard of the Inner Development Goals (IDGs), I also recommend checking them out. They were created as a response to the Sustainable Development Goals and they focus on our mindsets and behaviours, and ways of living "purposeful, sustainable and productive lives". There are many ways of using the IDGs in your classroom, and Inspire Citizens works with a teacher in Colorado who has made the IDGs a focus with her middle school students this year. Check out the story here.
On June 27th there is an IDG action day taking place from 10 am - 2 pm EDT in Austin, Texas. If you live near Austin, you can attend in person, and there is a virtual stream for out-of-area participants. I have my online ticket and I am super excited about the program. If you're interested in learning more about the IDGs, it looks like it will be a very meaningful event and gathering of people.
For some additional resources about embedding sustainability education into your practice, check out these links:
* Our Endangered World: ideas for sustainability lessons, activities and campaigns in schools
* Climate Stories that Work: a guide and video from UK-based On Road to help frame your conversations about sustainability and climate change
* SDGs for Children: a website by two young Canadian changemakers with lots of ideas for teaching young people about sustainable approaches to the SDGs
* Thinking Sustainably: this blog post by three young changemakers has many valuable links and resources for K-12 educators