Green Careers Week - celebrating environmental educators - Earthwatch
A group of teachers sitting in a circle outside surrounded by nature. Earthwatch Education staff in branded t-shirts giving a presentation.

Green Careers Week – celebrating environmental educators

This November, Green Careers Week returns to promote jobs that help protect and restore the planet and raise environmental awareness. At Earthwatch, we believe that teachers and educators hold an important role as ‘Green Career Guides’. They inspire the next generation and enhance their curiosity of the natural world, create solutions-focused thinking and build a foundation of strong scientific knowledge of the environment. 

Facing a challenging future

We are at the defining moment of our lifetime and there is a very different future waiting in the wings for the next generation. Every pupil completing their first year now will graduate after 2035, when the UK is meant to have reduced its emissions by 78% towards net zero. The lifestyles, jobs and challenges will look very differently than what it they do now, and the education system must ensure it prepares the pupils for that. 

Around 60% of young people are ‘worried’ or ‘extremely worried’ about climate change.

In a poll conducted by YouGov on behalf of Oxfam in 2020, 77% of teachers agreed there should be more teaching in UK schools about climate change with 70% concluding radical change was needed to make the education system “fit for the times we live in”. Unfortunately, the same research found that only 18% felt they have received adequate subject training to support their students.

Teach Earth – inspiring environmental education

Through our Teach Earth teacher training programme, we help teachers and informal educators to build their knowledge and confidence in leading inspiring environmental outdoor education. This includes enhancing climate literacy, sharing resources and learning how to facilitate nature connection among their pupils.

How our Teach Earth participants inspire the next generation

Through championing environmental education and outdoor learning, the work of many educators can be seen as a ‘green career’ in itself. We have asked some of our Teach Earth participants how they have used their new skills to support their pupils’ interest and motivation to choose a green future.

Barney Hobbs
Head of Biology & Environmental Science

There aren’t many jobs where you can spend hours and hours guiding young minds into wondering, realising the importance of, understanding and caring about our natural world as I can as a teacher. Children do care – when they are shown injustice they demand action. Since the Teach Earth residential, I have been in touch with our head teacher asking about the green skills we should be developing in our students. I have firmly put my foot in the doorway of the environment at school and will be making everyone walk through it! Earthwatch’s Teach Earth programme gave me the skill and confidence to do just that.

Mary Grant, Teaching Assistant
for visual impairment & eco-club
leader

Let’s not do the traditional classroom today, let’s go outdoors… Litter picking isn’t enough, we need to go a bit beyond that! The morning eco-club I lead will be inspired by arts and crafts, growing and upcycling. Teach Earth has helped me a lot – I had come to a point in my life where it was lovely to think ‘okay, here’s something really interesting… It gave me such a lease on life. Some of the other children with complex SEN needs now ask their Teacher Assistants when they can go outside. The colleagues love to ask me for advice, they come to ask to help.

Find out more about our educational work and how we empower the next generation to take action for the planet.

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