Teacher Professional Development
Wachusett Meadow provides professional development opportunities for teachers in natural history and related sciences. All workshops are designed for active participation and practical application in the classroom.
Teachers can attend workshops offered on a variety of topics or our education staff can design a workshop to meet your specific needs. Workshops can be held at the sanctuary or at your school. We are a DOE-approved PDP provider.
Mass Audubon wildlife sanctuaries, including Wachusett Meadow, offer scheduled and custom professional development workshops throughout the year.
Early Childhood Training for Caregivers & Teachers
The following workshops can be offered at the sanctuary or at your site.
Sharing Nature with Your Child—A Program for Parents & Caregivers
Caregivers of young children won’t be surprised to learn that outdoor play is good for children – after all, children who get time to play outdoors every day get the chance to run and exercise gross motor skills and large muscle groups. They breathe fresh air and burn off extra energy, making indoor play more calm and peaceful. But just how important outdoor play, and a deep connection to the natural world is may surprise many adults, as nature play offers endless opportunities for learning experiences, developing cognitive, social-emotional, and physical skills, as well as a sense of concern for and connection to the natural world.
In this workshop, parents or other caregivers and their children will explore the benefits of nature play, and reflect on ways they can incorporate nature play into their daily routine. Participants will learn and practice a variety of simple ways to enhance nature play with children and will receive resources for continued learning and exploration. This workshop is for parents/caregivers and their children and is especially appropriate for playgroups and parenting groups. Let us visit your playgroup, or request a playgroup in our beautiful sanctuary setting.
Sharing Nature with Young Children—A Program for Early Childhood Educators
Nature play offers endless opportunities for learning experiences, developing cognitive, social-emotional, and physical skills, as well as a sense of concern for and connection to the natural world. In this workshop, educators will explore the benefits of nature play, and reflect on ways they can incorporate nature play into their programs.
As a result of this training, educators will:
- Reflect on personal experiences in natural settings, and the importance of nature and outdoor play for young children.
- Review and understand guidelines from the ECE field for safe and healthy outdoor play.
- Engage in simple activities that can be incorporated into early childhood curriculum, and identify ways to incorporate activities into their work.
Educators will also receive a variety of useful resources for continued learning, reflection, and exploration.
In summer, we frequently partner with the Wade Institute for Science Education to offer a graduate level course for teachers as part of their Summer Professional Development Institute.
- To view this year's course, please visit the Wade Institute's Summer Professional Development Institutes website.