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 our list of ongoing workshops offered at regular intervals throughout the year. 

View the list of ongoing workshops here. 

 

2020

October

October 12, 2020 to May 28, 2021
Forest School Teacher Institute announces a new virtual training program for busy people. Topics include: how to become an effective forest school teacher, how to oversee a forest school program, how to start-up a forest school program, and how to advance your leadership skills in a forest school environment. All courses will be individualized and dig deeply into the roots of forest school — community, compassion, and holistic child development. Forest School Teacher Institute founder, Dr. Jean Lomino, along with a highly qualified and experienced team of Forest School teachers, founders and administrators from around the US and the world will lead the training. Jean is also co-founder and director of Wauhatchie School, the first forest...
2021

February

February 8, 2021 to June 12, 2021
34 Grist Mill Place
Marshfield, VT 05658
The Tea Project: Designing, Planting and Caring for a Perennial Tea Garden, is designed for educators who are passionate about bringing nature, biology, routines for empowerment, social emotional learning and social justice into the daily classroom routine. Enroll now to learn the unique curriculum immersion of science observation skills and practices through the lens of the plant cycle and mindfulness. This course is virtual and meets once weekly in a synchronous session. Learn more about The Tea Project here: https://www.luna-root.com/the-tea-project. Contact: Angie Barger at luna-root@gmail.com or (802) 595-2512, Registration link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/JBJ7P7C .

April

April 6, 2021 to May 13, 2021
We are thrilled to offer our Nature-Based Teacher Certification as an online option! You will gain a deeper understanding of nature pedagogy and practices as you earn this introductory credential. Our engaging, 36-hour course provides in-depth study of best practices in nature-based early childhood education to prepare you for meaningful outdoor learning experiences. We draw from experienced educators with diverse perspectives to help you hone your own approaches to nature-based ECE. 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. Visit www.erafans.org/teacher-certification for details.
April 13, 2021 to April 25, 2021
This 12-hour course pairs benefits of outdoor learning with strategies for implementation at your preschool, daycare, public or private elementary school setting. As we move through the course, you will examine the physical spaces in your program (indoors and out) and explore ways to harness them for healthy outdoor play and learning. We will also identify ways that outdoor learning aligns with curriculum and discuss how to demonstrate the benefits to stakeholders such as fellow staff, administrators, maintenance crew, and parents. We will discuss practical approaches to moving class outside and help your team transform teaching practices to confidently teach in outdoor settings. This includes considerations for sites in urban and rural...
April 17, 2021
Painted Oak Nature School
174 Lambertville Hopewell Rd.
Hopewell, NJ 08525
After a long winter, gathering in person sure will be sweet. Join us as we discover best practices and approaches to nature-based education. Presenters share insights and activities based on their work in nature preschools, forest kindergartens, or other nature-based programs. This training is ideal for educators, caregivers, and others working with children three to six years old. Attendees work in all kinds of settings, from nature-based schools and forest kindergartens to public schools, traditional preschools, HeadStart programs, childcare centers, daycare, and more. Breakfast is included, but pack a lunch and bring your canteen for drinks. ERAFANS will provide a professional development certificate at the conclusion of the...
April 21, 2021 to May 5, 2021
If you are starting a new forest or nature preschool program (including childcare and home school classes), our intensive 12-clock hour Forest and Nature Preschool Bootcamp can help you get started! We address a range of topics including: -Honing your vision, mission, and educational philosophy -Establishing program basics like daily rhythm, class sizes, schedules -Business planning/determining a business structure -Locations and partners -Licensing considerations -How to set tuition, compensate staff, and create a program budget -Policies and practices for your parent handbook -Creating greater diversity, equity, and inclusion in your program -Safety and risk management, including liability insurance needs -Finding and hiring...
April 21, 2021
Guess what? Children are more active when they are outdoors. Simply taking children outdoors allows them to move their bodies in different ways - they can be bigger, louder and faster! You have probably experienced this already with the children you work with! In this session Leah and I will share the fundamentals of physical literacy in the early years and connect this all to getting outside. We will also discuss risky play and the role educators have in supporting this important experience for children. You will leave this session with practical ideas and resources for supporting outdoor play and physical activity outdoors.
April 23, 2021
Join Dodge Nature Preschool for a half-day, virtual conference designed to inspire and encourage outdoor learning in early childhood. Find inspiration, engage in dialogue with colleagues, and gain practical ideas to help incorporate nature-based education into your classroom and school environment.
April 28, 2021
You know it is important, you have seen what’s possible when you take children outside and give them the time, space, materials and permission to play! How do we communicate this with parents and colleagues who only see the barriers or negative aspects of taking children outdoors? How can we support adults so children can have access to this fundamental experience of childhood? In this session, Bora and I will give examples, share experiences and resources to support you in advocating for outdoor play and learning at your childcare program or school.

June

June 14, 2021
713 Elm Street
Montpelier, VT 05607
This is an introductory ECO (Educating Children Outdoors) Institute course that acquaints participants with the routines and protocols that structure a successful outdoor learning and play experience. Participants will: Develop a knowledge base and skill set to incorporate nature immersion practices into your program in a way that meets the needs of your students. Learn how to conduct site assessments and how to manage hazards and risks within an outdoor classroom space. Explore foundational math and literacy skills in nature with nature. Learn how to partner with the natural world to bring the curriculum outdoors and nature indoors while meeting NGSS, Common Core and Vermont Early Learning Standards. Build upon existing strengths and...
June 28, 2021 to July 2, 2021
The Carriage House at the Gramercy
Baltimore, MD 21153
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. Learn more about each level of certification below. REGISTRATION OPTIONS There are two options to attend the level 1 NBTC course: you can join us in person for a five-day training experience (June 28-July 2, 2021 in Baltimore, MD or July 19-23 in Toledo, OH) or register for a six-week online course. Please note...

July

July 19, 2021 to July 23, 2021
Maumee Valley Country Day School
Toledo, OH 43614
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. Learn more about each level of certification below. REGISTRATION OPTIONS There are two options to attend the level 1 NBTC course: you can join us in person for a five-day training experience (June 28-July 2, 2021 in Baltimore, MD or July 19-23 in Toledo, OH) or register for a six-week online course. Please note...