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Teaching Climate Change – how your school’s teachers can help the climate crisis

COP 26 took place last month; the massive climate change summit brings together all the leaders of the world to discuss all things environmental.  The conference ended a while ago but the discussion around what happened has not slowed down, as it shouldn’t. For years, leaders ignored climate issues that arose, halting any open discussion about countries dependencies on fossil fuels. This year’s summit in Glasgow felt different, it feels like more of the world’s eyes were fixed on this conference more than any other in history. The issue of climate change can no longer be pushed to the side as a minor concern, and the walls are closing in on our leaders to make a change before it’s too late (which may not be far off at all). 

A huge push for change is coming from the younger generation, understanding that their time on this planet may be cut short due to the neglect and selfishness of those much older than them. As time moves forward, this push will only get stronger and who knows what extreme measures those future generations will take to make sure they are able to live their lives unimpeded, and preferably on a planet that isn’t underwater. 

The climate situation is fairly doom and gloom, with many academics saying that it is probably too late to make any significant global change that would benefit the future of our planet. We feel that this viewpoint, though realistic, can be pushed to the side in favour of still trying and hoping for change. Forging a path for future generations is our next best bet. 

Well, there’s no better place to start than within our schools. Planting the idea in the minds of the next generation is the best way to tackle this issue head-on. We have scoured the internet to find some amazing ways to get kids aware of our planet’s health and to get them in the mindset that our planet is to be protected and appreciated. 

An incredibly influential project for me as a kid was raising butterflies and setting them free. It was a small thing, but it helps children to understand the life cycle of an animal. It’s important to understand how and why little environmental changes can impact the life of this little insect, how this little insect’s potential death can alter the food chain in that environment and how that can lead to potential extinctions and devastation. It’s an important and tangible lesson, more relevant than ever. 

Recycling is still one of the best ways that we can make a change ourselves. Plastic and landfill are a huge problem in every single country and one that we still need to tackle head-on. It’s not the newest or coolest idea, but with billions of people on this planet using plastic products every single day, it cannot be ignored. A great way to get kids engaged in the idea of recycling is getting everybody in the class to design their own recycling bins, personalising it for them and that can allow them to feel connected to the idea, turning it into something fun rather than a bother. A tip from me, putting a small basketball hoop over your recycling bin can’t ever be a bad idea. 

The final one and the most engaging, is growing plants, fruit, or vegetables. It’s something that is fun, can be monitored for a long time, so depending on what you’re growing, it can be a yearlong project that every kid can be involved in. Getting kids to understand the ease of growing your own food, can allow kids to understand not just the life of plants but can allow for more introspective thoughts such as eating healthier and that can lead them to the idea of exercise and sport. That in turn can help them decide about whether they maybe want to cycle to school rather than getting their parent or guardian to drive them. These projects are all incredibly effective and stick in the mind of kids during their most formative years. 

I remember all those teachers very well, I’m 29 now and recycle often, use public transport rather than drive and I’m always looking to do my part for future generations ahead. I had great teachers and looking back, I’m sure they had a profound effect on me regarding my sustainable life choices. This leads to the importance of great educational recruitment, and how that can influence not just grades and attendance, but the potential future health of our planet. Making sure that your school has the best candidates available is not just something that you can brag about on your staff page, but it can make a tangible difference to the future of our planet. The best teachers know how to make the most mundane subjects’ fun and exciting. 

soccialy is a technology platform that puts your vacancies in front of the very best teachers in your local area. Do the planet a favour and get your school the best possible teachers you can. The difference will be felt not just now, but 100 years into the future.