April 14 - 15, 2014 8:30 am – 4:30 pm

Etobicoke Field Studies Centre, 8180 Highway 50, Brampton, ON

Photo: Nature as a classroom

A two-day professional development workshop in the GTA

Over the last decade, researchers have documented what most of us know intuitively: nature is good for kids' education, health and well-being. Being regularly immersed in the outdoors can reduce stress and symptoms of attention-deficit disorders while boosting immunity, energy levels and creativity. Plus, children who spend time in nature are far more likely to protect it later in life.

The message is clear — kids need nature! And so do teachers. But these days, we're not getting enough.

Incorporating daily outdoor classroom time into a busy schedule can be daunting. That's why the David Suzuki Foundation is offering this unique professional development experience. Nature as a classroom is about reinvigorating teachers by helping them explore their own profound connection to nature, then empowering them with strategies and ideas to inspire their students with that passion.

Over the course of two days—much of it outdoors—participants will gain confidence in taking classes outside and weaving nature education into all aspects of teaching. They'll also learn about great local resources and gain a network of like-minded educators. And of course, they'll have lots of fun.

Day 1 will be about exploring our own profound connection to nature. Led by amazing local outdoor educators, we'll get outside and explore, play and reflect on incorporating our own experiences and passion into our teaching practice.

On Day 2 we'll get creative. Experienced classroom teachers will share stories, present ideas and help us craft strategies for taking classes outside.

Who it's for: GTA teachers of Grades 4 through 6
Registration deadline: April 7, 2014
Where: Etobicoke Field Studies Centre, 8180 Highway 50, Brampton, ON
Cost: A $45 non-refundable registration fee will help cover the cost of materials and food
Apply at: http://bit.ly/1eirxEQ

Classroom replacement time will be available for the first 12 Toronto-area teachers who register. We encourage participants to attend with a fellow teacher or an administrator from their school, to foster a team approach to outdoor teaching.

We'll spend lots of time outdoors, so dress accordingly!