Natural Teacher’s Network
Every teacher can be a Natural Teacher!
As a teacher, your ability to creatively engage your students with the natural world in their everyday lives can make a huge difference in their health, well-being, and capacity to learn.
This site provides information for teachers to access valuable resources and share ideas with other teachers. Becoming a member of the Natural Teachers Network will allow you to join a growing movement of thousands of existing members of the Children & Nature Network and gain access to regularly updated research, tools, activities and resources.
You are encouraged to also join the Natural Teachers Network. A Natural Teacher is any educator who uses the natural world as a powerful learning environment—whether the subject is biology, writing, art, or any other. Think of this forum as a break room full of your peers ready for a conversation, a place where you can share ideas and ask for suggestions, where you can be engaged, creative, and encouraged.
You will receive a personalized Certificate of Participation that states for all to see what it means to be a Natural Teacher, and an “I Am a Natural Teacher” badge that you can display. You are invited to join the Natural Teachers Network’s social networking site to share with your peers your ideas, successes, and challenges in taking your students outside. You are encouraged to invite other teachers of all disciplines to join the Natural Teachers Network. There is strength in numbers and incredible creativity in diverse points of view.
Early Childhood Environmental Education Programs: Guidelines for Excellence
These are amazing, free or low-cost materials that will have you outside in no time! Check it out!
Get your kids away from the screen and into nature with this screen-free toolkit!
Watch as these kids use creativity and teamwork to build the ultimate playground!
Coming to you with ‘fun and educational hands-on animal science programs’, A Walk in the Woods, helps children discover nature by using their senses!
This DVD will help to educate your students on the importance of nature in their academic development. As an Educator, you will gain insight on helping children develop stronger ties with their natural surroundings.
Make a difference!! Join the World Forum Foundation by inspiring children to become the next generation of ‘caring environmental stewards.’
If you are an educator interested in nature-based, hands-on and outdoor learning, then the Office of Environmental Education has resources that you need! Check out our resources below:
Great for one-stop shopping for environmental education resources in North Carolina. Here you can search a comprehensive database for the very best in environmental education curricula, field trips, outreach programs, contests and much more.
Find funding opportunities that will get your outdoor education programs and projects off the ground.
Environmental Education Centers
Did you know that there are more than 180 Environmental Education Centers across the state? These can be great places for field trips, or great community partners and resources.
Environmental Education School Directory
Do your students recycle, work to conserve water or protect air quality? Does your school have a pollinator garden, composting area, nature trail or other outdoor classroom features? The directory is a great way for schools interested in environmental education to network and learn from each other! Check out the great things schools in North Carolina are up to, or add your stellar school to the directory.
EENC’s mission is to promote excellence in professional development and facilitate networking opportunities, inspiring educators to create an environmentally literate citizenry. EENC’s vision is to connect diverse professionals and organizations to each other and to high quality environmental education materials and programs, demonstrating leadership in North Carolina and beyond.
Founder Jenny Morgan has recorded a CD of professionally produced music, some featuring local youth singers, that will get your students up, excited about nature, and ready to head outside!
A place-based professional development workshop series connecting communities along the Appalachian Trail to promote resource stewardship, recreation, and community engagement.
Playful Pedagogy, part of the North Carolina Zoo’s Education Division, functions as an umbrella for the Zoo’s play programs. For over four years, playwork has been an integral part of kidZone, the N.C. Zoo’s outdoor playspace that connects children with nature through play. Playful Pedagogy offers professional development opportunities for practitioners working in children’s learning and play environments. Our playwork* trainings explore the importance of play in children’s lives and the art and science of supporting children’s play. Through classroom instruction, informal discussions and outdoor activities, workshop participants investigate the adult’s role in the play process. Best practices for supporting play, creating plenty of physical and mental space for play and creative approaches to planning for play outside are only a few of the topics covered. To learn about upcoming sessions, check our calendar.
These workshops are designed for adults that have a passion for the outdoors, and are interested in teaching young people about wildlife, natural resources, and other parts of nature!