The Coquitlam Green Teacher Network has 195 members: teachers, administrators, caretakers, clerical staff and SEAs. We have a great Sharepoint site that can be accessed if you have a District login, but no other way for anyone outside the District to find out what kinds of projects and ideas we're working on.
Many members of our network would hesitate to call themselves "environmental educators". Our assignments, projects, challenges and success stories are diverse and constantly evolving. So, how did we all come together to become the Coquitlam Green Teacher Network? An internal email list in our District was created for teachers (and non-teaching staff) with an interest in recycling, zero waste programs, composting and gardening.
Some members are creating outdoor classrooms and gardens, some are fine tuning zero waste programs and some of us are just trying to get through the juice box recycling without losing our minds.
So - who am I? I've been a Coquitlam teacher for ten years now. I started with grade 3/4 classes and dabbled in teaching "computers" and music. I moved to teach middle school seven years ago, and this year I switched from teaching "core" classroom subjects to Home Ec and ELL. I teach in a school with a great staff, and great students - I'm very lucky.
And where do I find the time? (I get asked this a lot). Like many teachers, there are work-related things you do outside your job that renew your spirit. Some people coach sports, some people have band concerts. I like to play problem-solver. If my class is making me crazy, I can blog about it until I find the humour, and I'm ready to go back and try again. If my green waste program is cancelled, at least I can help someone else be more successful with theirs.
Don't worry - I don't plan to editorialize throughout the entire blog - I have others that I can use as my soapbox. This one is to help us find answers, resources and each other. Feel free to let me know what you want to see here. And if you can help me figure out how to add you as a contributor, I'd be happy to share the space.