Twenty-two kindergarten through fifth-grade teachers from across Georgia attended a five-day professional development workshop at the State Botanical Garden at the University of Georgia June 2-6. These teams of two to three teachers from public schools in Oconee, Jackson, Forsyth, Cobb and Fulton counties were chosen from a competitive pool of applicants to attend the Garden Earth Naturalist program.
During the workshop, participants learned about their school sites as ecosystems and how to encourage children to learn from nature by taking instruction outside. There were classroom lectures and hands-on exercises in the State Botanical Garden.
"Garden Earth has been a wonderful experience," said Bill Nelson, a second-grade teacher at Colham Ferry Elementary School in Oconee County. "I have been exposed to so many activities that I know my students will love doing. The hands-on investigations will help my students evolve into lifelong learners and stewards of the Earth."