Connecting Lessons of COVID and Climate Change

A new virtual training, COVID and Climate Change helps teachers explore the relationships among climate change, COVID, and social injustice. This professional learning workshop, a collaboration between EarthGen and ESD 112, was first offered on January 23 and attended by 55 teachers from southwest Washington. After filling to capacity within hours of opening registration, the waitlist grew to 100. In response to this demand, EarthGen, ESD 112 and PSESD hosted another session on March 13, which was attended by 51 teachers from across the state.

During both workshops, Dr. Isabel Carrera Zamanillo from Stanford University presented methods for thinking about climate change and COVID through a social justice lens. Dr. Carrie Tzou from the University of Washington shared resources to engage students in family-centered learning around COVID and health equity. Throughout the sessions, teachers explored the connections and parallels between the twin crises. They gained new resources and studied methods to engage students in learning tied to their own experiences of climate change, COVID, and social injustice.

According to one teacher, “The workshop was a great opportunity to work in breakout rooms and collaborate with other educators around the area about the similarities of COVID and climate change impacts. This pushed us to discuss and develop ideas about those populations most impacted and their vulnerability. Then we discussed how to share these ideas in class.”

Formerly Washington Green Schools, EarthGen adopted its new name in January 2021 to reflect its mission: to guide and support youth, educators, and school communities to become leaders for sustainability and justice. In consideration of the high demand for their COVID and Climate Change trainings, EarthGen, ESD 112, and PSESD will offer another virtual workshop on April 17 []. Please see EarthGen’s website [] for information about upcoming trainings.

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