Tag Archives: 421

Our most important resource

Last week, we preservice teachers participated in a workshop led by a teacher from the environmental education program Project Learning Tree. While experiencing a sample lesson on the water cycle and how new water cannot be created, I leaned over to a classmate and said, “Wow! This is really depressing to think about how we humans probably are not preserving enough of our water.” It occurred to me that perhaps fear, denial, and a bit of the environmental problems seeming insurmountable are why environmental education is often left out of curriculum. Of course, this is exactly why it is of utmost important we educate our students about it. I think about how my own children, ages 7 & 11, are so optimistic and always looking to problem solve and think, “Yes, children need this education. They will problem solve, maybe not now, but the food for thought will be planted as awareness, and they can work on these problems as they develop more and more knowledge and skills.” I think about how my daughter came home from school with a whole kit on how to save water and used her shower timer to take shorter showers, dropped tablets in our toilet tanks to make sure they weren’t leaking, and told us all of what she learned about water conservation. I think about how my children’s school is working on ways to maintain and improver their “green” status and how this forces the teachers, administration, and parents to also be “green.” As we looked at all of the resources from around the world that go into making one pencil, I couldn’t help think about how if we do not teach our children (and ourselves) to preserve and responsibly use the resources of our planet, then teaching everything else will be for naught. We need to integrate environmental education into every subject, because our environment is a part of everything we do.