Collaborative Training

A collaborative training is a creative way for you and your staff to get the most out of required training hours. You get to learn and share with another nature-based school or program to maximize everyone's expertise - and form relationships in your local network at the same time!

Goals: 

  • * To share resources and practices relevant to the local community

  • * To nurture professional networks of support among local schools and programs

  • * To develop an appreciation for different models and approaches to nature-based education 


How does it work?
You collaborate in advance about topics to learn about and what to share for a scheduled training day. The collaboration continues as you learn from each other during the training, and is on-going as you freely connect following the training for future support.

What are the benefits of collaborative training/professional development?
Rather than hosting one expert, this approach facilitates dialogue among a range of experienced educators that participate in the swap. Staff members from both programs share and learn throughout the day, so participants are exposed to many approaches and perspectives. This open, non-judgmental exchange of ideas helps each school reflect on their practices, lean into strengths, and gain tools and ideas for improvement. Here are a few of the benefits:

    • You get to tour another nature-based program near you.

    • You build a responsive network of other nature-based ECEE practitioners who you can call on as your program evolves.

    • Training topics are specific to outdoor learning and exploration with young children – they apply directly to what you do.

    • Your team benefits from this as a leadership opportunity to build on successes they want to share.

    • It is inexpensive and close to home


    Sample schedule:
    9 a.m. Arrive at Nature School #1. Begin with a circle of introductions, morning song, and gratitude.

    9:30-10:30 a.m. Tour Nature School #1 and learn about the basics of the school for up to an hour.

    10:30-11:30 a.m. Nature School #1 shares a 1-hour PD experience with Nature School #2 that highlights a particular strength of their program. Topics will vary and can be decided upon in advance. Both teams participate in this PD experience.

    11:30-1 p.m. Optional lunch together. Travel to Nature School #2.

    1-2 p.m. Tour Nature School #2 and learn about the basics of the school for up to an hour.

    2-3 p.m. Nature School #2 shares a 1-hour PD experience with Nature School #1 that highlights a particular strength of their program. Topics will vary and can be decided upon in advance. Both teams participate in this PD experience.

    3-3:30 p.m. A closing debrief or sharing circle concludes the day with ideas for future collaboration.

    How does ERAFANS help?
    We help identify and connect you with another program for your collaborative PD day. We coordinate relevant training for both programs based on each programs’ needs. ERAFANS creates an agenda, training descriptions, evaluation survey, and professional development certificates or letters for licensing, as applicable. We assist in planning to ensure the day is inspiring, insightful and fun!

    What is the cost?
    Fees are nominal for ERAFANS members, but vary depending on the length of the training. Please contact us to learn more!

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