Program encourages teachers to create healthy, sustainable classrooms
The Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) released the Green Classroom Professional Certificate (GCP). This certificate program provides pre-K–12 teachers, paraprofessionals, administrators and parents with the knowledge and skills to support environmentally healthy, resource efficient and sustainable schools and classrooms. The GCP has been officially endorsed by the National Education Association (NEA).
“It goes without saying that teachers, principals and of course parents always have our children’s best interests at heart. But in many cases our educators and caretakers don’t have the information and education to diagnose environmental and health challenges in the classroom and implement practical solutions,” said Rachel Gutter, director of the Center for Green Schools at USGBC. “The Green Classroom Professional Certificate aims to empower educators and decision makers to dramatically improve the learning environment, increasing comfort, health and performance for students and teachers alike.”
Educators with a Green Classroom Professional Certificate are engaged with the green building community; have learned about school energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction and improved indoor air quality; and work to provide the best environment for student success. With the skills gained from the program, teachers will help foster an attitude among youth and future generations to appreciate and model green practices.
“The National Education Association is proud to endorse this exciting program, which creates an opportunity for educators to learn about sustainability and implement real change in their classrooms,” said Jerald Newberry, Executive Director, NEA Health Information Network. “We recognize that teachers operate best when working in a healthy, sustainable environment, and the Green Classroom Professional Certificate equips educators with the skills to begin making changes in their own classrooms….changes that foster student well-being and success, while making it easier for them to teach.”
The GCP program guides participants through 12 modules covering key topics on classroom health. Modules focus on topics such as indoor air quality, water efficiency, materials and resources. Once the modules are completed, the final assessment is made up of animated and narrated scenarios, along with multiple-choice questions, guiding teachers through possible examples they may encounter in their classroom.
The online course takes 2-3 hours to complete, and certification is valid for five years. The course will be available at a promotional cost of $75 until April 1, 2012 and includes the modules and the assessment. For more information on the GCP, please visit centerforgreenschools.org/greenclassroom.