Professional Development

Find upcoming trainings, workshops, and conferences offered to nature-based early learning professionals and submit your own by using the sidebar to the right.

In addition to the opportunities listed below, you can also consult this list of ongoing workshops offered at regular intervals throughout the year.

 

2019

June

June 16, 2019 to June 21, 2019
Camp Pemigewassett
Wentworth, NH
The Nature Instruction Clinic is a unique, national training program that puts Camp Pemigewassett at the forefront of the camping world’s commitment to environmental education. This pre-season, 5½-day-long “Nature Instruction Clinic” is designed for counselors, staff, and instructors at day camps, resident camps, and outdoor education centers. Our goal is to facilitate better programming and instruction in a wide variety of camp and outdoor situations and settings. Each year, the Clinic is designed to meet the specific needs of the participants.
June 22, 2019
Carrie Murray Nature Center
Baltimore, MD
This day-long event is a great primer to help you start your nature-based preschool, childcare, or home-school program. We will discuss a range of topics including business structures, staffing/hiring, curriculum development, insurance, enrollment procedures, partnering with other organizations, and more. We will invite you to submit three questions during registration so we can tailor our presenters specifically to your needs. Breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snack will be provided. Most of the session will take place outdoors, so please dress for the weather and bring a canteen.
June 24, 2019 to August 9, 2019
CA
The Academy of Forest Kindergarten Teachers offers high quality, experiential, in-depth training and certification for current and up and coming early childhood educators dedicated to connecting children with Nature. In order to build a strong foundation in developmentally appropriate practices, deep nature connection and naturalist skills, we provide an active, engaging, and transformational curriculum. The Academy's comprehensive teacher training program provides our students with the theoretical, practical skills, knowledge, and magic to become exceptional educators and mentors in the field. --The Foundation Course ~ Level 1 (open to beginners as well as seasoned teachers/naturalists) June 24 - July 5, 2019 / Bishop, CA OR ​July 15 - 26, 2019 / Santa Barbara, CA --The Metamorphic Course ~ Level 2 (open to graduates of Level 1) July 29 - August 9, 2019 / Santa Barbara, CA

July

July 8, 2019 to July 12, 2019
Waldorf School of Baltimore
Baltimore, MD
We are thrilled to offer a five-day Nature-based Teacher Certification! This 36-hour course provides in-depth study of best practices in nature-based early childhood education to prepare you for meaningful outdoor learning experiences. Whether you are in a formal school or childcare setting or working in a nature or forest preschool, this course is designed to meet the needs of early childhood educators working in any setting. The introductory certification course covers a range of skills and approaches crucial to implementing nature-based early childhood pedagogy.
July 15, 2019 to July 19, 2019
Waldorf School of Baltimore
Baltimore, MD
We are thrilled to offer a five-day Nature-based Teacher Certification! This 36-hour course provides in-depth study of best practices in nature-based early childhood education to prepare you for meaningful outdoor learning experiences. Whether you are in a formal school or childcare setting or working in a nature or forest preschool, this course is designed to meet the needs of early childhood educators working in any setting. The intermediate course is intended for participants who have already completed the intro credential. During the registration process, you have the opportunity to include special topics for deeper study.
July 15, 2019 to July 18, 2019
North Park Village
Chicago, IL
The Forest Playschool is offering educators of all stripes a 20-hour course in Forest School Skills, including supporting unstructured play in a woodland, working with a mixed-age group, facilitating work projects and tool use with kids, and incorporating literacy and numeracy. Click through for complete information and to register!
July 15, 2019 to August 2, 2019
North Branch Nature Center
Montpelier, VT
The ECO Institute has been facilitating outdoor professional development courses for teachers and educators since the summer of 2013. We have trained and worked alongside over 100 teachers who strongly believe that nature has a place in the heart of education. Our work is inspired by the nature kindergartens found in Scandinavia, Forest Schools in the UK, the nature-based mentoring movement, and the teachers and children we work with. Level 1 (July 15-19): Core Routines for Creating Outdoor Classrooms for Early Childhood Educators introduces participants to the core routines that structure a successful outdoor learning and play experience. Level 2 (July 29-Aug 2): Natural History Fundamentals for Educators is designed for educators who have an established routine of learning and exploring outdoors, and who are seeking a deeper understanding of their natural landscape.
July 15, 2019 to August 24, 2019
Hamline University
St Paul, MN
Graduate Continuing Studies Online course--Instructor: Sheila Williams Ridge. Introducing children to nature at a young age is one of the best ways to foster a sense of wonder and stewardship for the natural world. It has also been shown to boost learning and reduce behavior issues in the classroom. Review different ways to integrate nature and the outdoors into the classroom. Evaluate readings, discuss current research, make observations and develop programs or tools of your own. Target audience: non-formal and formal educators K-6. Online login and course information at www.hamline.edu/education/online
July 21, 2019 to July 24, 2019
Lied Lodge and Conference Center
Nebraska City, NE
New ideas, new connections and new inspirations are waiting for you at the 2019 Nature Explore/Outdoor Classroom Project Leadership Institute: Sustaining Ourselves, Sustaining Our Work, Sustaining Our World. Enjoy a great mix of hands-on sessions, discussion groups, nature-based experiences and inspiring social times. Discover new ways to keep your work fresh and growing such as innovative uses of loose parts (and you’ll get to create with them yourselves) and out-of-the-box thinking on appropriate ways to use technology in nature (yes, it really can be done). Gain engaging new ideas for renewing yourself in mind, body and spirit through nature connections. Learn inspiring, yet practical ideas for sustaining our world through practices such as permaculture. Join with our growing network and treat yourself to a time of rest, reflection and rejuvenation that will reinvigorate you for your professional journey.
July 23, 2019 to July 25, 2019
Chicago Botanic Garden
1000 Lake Cook Road
Glencoe, IL 60022
Providing children with time to think and talk allows for inspirational learning opportunities and nurtures fascination of complex subjects. The Talking and Thinking Floorbook Approach®, developed by Claire Warden, is a child-led process for observation, documentation, and planning. This three-day workshop, led by associate trainer Erin Fitzpatrick, explores all elements of this technique: Talking Tubs™, which use provocations to discover interests, Mind Maps that discuss previous knowledge, and Floorbooks for documentation. Access to a free Claire Warden webinar is included. $172.80 members/$216 non-members CPDUs: 18, Gateways: 18, Graduate credit: 2 (optional; additional fee) Grade level: preK – 2 Instructor: Erin Fitzpatrick, associate trainer, Claire Warden Ltd. Learning Center
July 29, 2019 to July 30, 2019
Antioch University New England
Keene, NH
This course will provide teachers with a framework for facilitating play-based learning in the kindergarten classroom. Participants will learn strategies for supporting purposeful-play by establishing clear expectations, providing play prompts, observing children, and designing curriculum that responds to student interests. Classroom design, provisioning of materials, and pacing of the day will also be considered as important components of play-based programs. When teachers leave this course, they will have practiced identifying the learning that occurs during play, and will have seen many samples of ways that they might share these learning journeys with colleagues and families. They will also have a toolbox for using curriculum standards and published programs to inform and guid play based learning experiences.
July 31, 2019 to August 3, 2019
700 Elm Street
Manchester, NH 03101
The Natural Start Alliance's annual conference is the nation's largest professional event for teaching, administration, research, and advocacy in nature-based early learning. Join us on July 31-August 3, 2019, at the DoubleTree by Hilton in downtown Manchester, New Hampshire for engaging presentations, experiential workshops, site tours, and professional networking with 400 nature-based early childhood professionals from around the country and beyond.

August

August 3, 2019
Manchester, NH
This one-day workshop will help you develop a road map for opening a nature-based or forest preschool. We will begin with an overview of the business planning process, then we will guide you on questions to ask and tools to answer those questions—all specific to the unique business needs of nature-based and forest preschools.The workshop will be a mix of presentations and small-group interaction and problem-solving. All of these activities are designed to ensure you leave the workshop having made substantial progress on your business plan. Yes, you’ll leave with more work to do, but our goal is for you to leave with a clear road map of next steps to quickly and efficiently make your preschool a reality.
August 7, 2019 to August 10, 2019
Juniper Hill School
Alna, ME
Teaching with Nature: An Introduction to Forest Kindergartens is a 4-day summer workshop taught primarily by the school’s founder and director, Anne Stires. Local naturalists and additional teachers are highlighted for key activities and concepts. The workshop will provide participants with a strong baseline from which to delve deeper into outdoor- and community-based schooling for prekindergarten- and kindergarten-aged children. Teaching with Nature is designed as a pre-cursor to Antioch University’s Nature-Based Early Childhood Certificate program.
August 9, 2019 to August 11, 2019
Maple Valley, WA
This year's conference will have a special emphasis on utilizing the US Forest Kindergarten model as a pedagogical foundation. Learn valuable "tools of the trade" for best practices, business strategies, research and advocacy from experts in our field like Niki Buchan, our keynote speaker. Share your own successes and take advantage of networking opportunities within community gatherings throughout the conference. See examples of a program in action through observation of Nature Nuts, the first Cedarsong-accredited school. Sing, create, play, reflect, and connect with us, and leave feeling refreshed and invigorated.
August 12, 2019 to August 16, 2019
Wildflower Learning Community
Chapel Hill, NC
We are thrilled to offer a five-day Nature-based Teacher Certification! This 36-hour course provides in-depth study of best practices in nature-based early childhood education to prepare you for meaningful outdoor learning experiences. Whether you are in a formal school or childcare setting or working in a nature or forest preschool, this course is designed to meet the needs of early childhood educators working in any setting. The introductory certification course covers a range of skills and approaches crucial to implementing nature-based early childhood pedagogy.
August 16, 2019 to August 18, 2019
Kenosha, WI
Competency-based PD for skill-building in how young children learn, developing nature play & nature-based early learning programs, experiences that foster life-long connections to nature and build competent and confident young thinkers and scientists.
August 26, 2019 to August 31, 2019
Farm & Wilderness
Plymouth, VT
The Vermont AoM is a five-day experiential, nature-based training with concurrent programs for ages 0 to 99. The week is facilitated by a veteran leadership team, representing over 90 years of collective experience in nature-based mentoring and culture design. Over 70 staff members from around the US support the experience of the 120 registered participants.

October

October 5, 2019 to October 6, 2019
Boston, MA
The theme of this 2-day conference is "Back in Boston," where the original Kindergarten Movement began almost exactly 150 years ago. Attendees will experience hands-on exploration of Froebel Gifts and Occupations guided by teachers (including Rachel Larimore) who have integrated these methods/materials into public, private, parochial and home-school K-12 educational classrooms. Early bird rates through March 31st!
October 25, 2019 to October 27, 2019
Seattle, WA
NatureStart™ is a professional development program that trains informal educators in museums, zoos, aquariums, and nature centers, along with other professionals who interact with young children and families, to develop and facilitate early childhood nature play programs, create play settings for nature-based early learning, and engage and interact with young children and their families to foster lifelong connections with nature. The training program is approved for credit from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Conservation Education Certificate.

November

November 16, 2019
Chicago Botanic Garden
1000 Lake Cook Road
Glencoe, IL 60022
Combine children’s literature with recipes and kitchen experiments to foster wonder about the natural world. This class will feature storybooks where cooking is part of the plot, following recipes for different learners, using kitchen tools, the relationship between colorful foods and basic nutrition, some kitchen science, and age-appropriate recipes (both edible and not) that you can take back to your classroom. $72 members/$90 non-members CPDUs: 6, Gateways: 6 Grade level: preK – 3 Classroom 9, Learning Center