The Environmental Solutionary Teacher Fellowship is a knowledge-to-action program that builds teacher capacity for designing and delivering learning experiences that are student-centered, problem-project-based, solutions-oriented, and integrates real-world environmental justice issues.

The program is a ten-month fellowship that runs from summer to Spring. Fellows who complete all requirements are eligible for a stipend (generally ranges between $750 - $1,000). Fellows may participate in the following capacities:

  • First Time Fellow: First Year of Participation

  • Return Fellow: Fellows may return for one additional year and complete a new topic

  • Senior Fellow: Fellows may return for a final third year in a role that blends learning and leadership and calls on fellows to serve as a coach and mentor to first-time fellows

Intended outcomes of this program include the following:

  • Deeper understanding of the intersection between environmental, social, and economic issues.

  • Confidence and ability to successfully use student-centered learning strategies (inquiry, systems thinking, civic engagement, PBL, etc.), which increase student engagement and comprehension.

  • Tools and resources to make an impact in your school community, including connection with and access to funding for resources, field trips, and more.

2021-22 Cohort Website

Hear from Alumni

"The Environmental Solutionary Teacher Fellowship has completely turned around my teaching practice.

I know that before joining I was very focused on content standards and not much else. I did not do much project-based learning and did not have any solutionary pieces to my curriculum. I also did not take student emotions into account, as I didn't see how it mattered - just learn and get your work done because that is how I was taught.

I am a better teacher thanks to this fellowship. My curriculum is more meaningful, students see the relevance of what they are learning to their growth into college and career adulthood. I now do a better job of helping them process thoughts and emotions as we move through the curriculum, and I think that is better whole-person learning."

- 2020-21 Teacher Fellow

Program Pathways and Requirements

The Environmental Solutionary Teacher Fellowship structure is based on a number of research studies that outline components of successful professional development for educators, such as: efforts that are directly related to instruction and/or operations, engage adult learners in a collaborative community, include elements of accountability, range between 30 - 100 hours (average of 49 hours).

Program Phases

The fellowship is built around three key phases of professional learning: Knowledge, Action, and Reflection. Use the sections below to better understand the requirements and elements of each phase. All phases will be completed in a virtual format (with one possible in-person field-based experience in November with a Community Based Partner).

Program Success and Testimonials

Since the start of this fellowship in 2015-16, more than 300 teachers have learned what environmental literacy is and how to do it — while also meeting the standards and fostering students engagement and academic success. Despite all the challenges teachers have faced with COVID-19, the program continues to be incredibly successful for empowering teachers - more than 90% of teacher fellows reported that the program was critical to their success and/or enhanced their ability to teach virtually and engage students in the 2020-21 school year.

95% of participants report very high to extreme satisfaction with institutes and workshops

95% of teachers report that they will teach their solutionary unit again in future years.

96% would participate in additional fellowship programs, and 96% would recommend it to colleagues.

"Every teacher should have the opportunity to complete a fellowship. This program helps solidify what you might already be teaching, or send you into a new dimension that will make you want to change the what and how of what you are teaching."

— Cohort Participant in 2020-21

"I found this to be the best professional development that I have participated in. The organization and resources in these programs are invaluable. Even though I felt overwhelmed at times, I also felt very supported. I came away with a solutionary unit of study that I will use year after year and share with my colleagues."

— Cohort Participant in 2020-21

"I've always wanted to incorporate more PBL into my teaching, but was always very intimidated and overwhelmed by it. I LOVE the structure that was provided by this program because it very clearly defined the steps and strategies. I will definitely incorporate this style of teaching into my class more often. Empowering my students to think of solutions on both small and large scale issues has been so motivating."

— Cohort Participant in 2020-21

"This program has made it easier for me to see connections between my curriculum and the lens of environmental sustainability. This program has also increased my comfort level in supplementing my school's curriculum with local partnerships and helping kids to see the applications of what we are learning in the classroom in their own community."

— Cohort Participant in 2019-20

Full-length Testimonials from Teachers

Full-length Testimonials from Coaches and Community Partners

Teachers gather around a table to complete an activityA presenter introduces a hands-on activityTeachers gather outside for an activity

Andra Yeghoian

Coordinator, Environmental Literacy and Sustainability

Email: ayeghoian@smcoe.org

Phone: (650) 802-5406