Vermont Education and Environment Network – November Newsletter

November Newsletter

The Vermont Education & Environment Network has a lot to be grateful for during this season of gratitude! We appreciate the dedicated and passionate Vermont educators who remain committed to supporting learners through the challenges and stresses of this pandemic. The ways in which educators have pivoted toward safer outdoor teaching and learning practices has shown us how resilient they are- demonstrating a willingness to learn and apply new skills and embrace innovative and adaptive practices. Thanks to everyone who participated in our Fall Educator Survey (linked below) which lead to our very successful webinar series, a winter clothing drive, and website resource improvements. We have also been able to support and build collaborations between classroom and environmental education professionals with the help of engaging, expert panelists from all over Vermont! Many thanks to all of you for your participation and contributions to our efforts this season!

 Infographic of survey results

Vermont Educator Survey Results: COVID-19 Pivots and Needs

This fall we surveyed classroom and environmental educators across the state to learn more about their emerging shifts in practice and their needs due to COVID-19. The results have shown us how our network can respond and support educators by providing professional learning on outdoor education; highlighting resources for outdoor and remote teaching; providing winter clothing for students, and more. You can learn about our process and plans to continue to be responsive to educators’ needs in our latest blog post.

Read Full Blog Post

Support Learning by Donating Winter Clothing!

Teachers indicated that access to warm, winter clothing was a barrier to taking their students outside in cold, wet weather. With the goal of removing this barrier, we launched a winter clothing drive! If you wish to donate new or gently used winter clothing or boots please contact us at to coordinate a contactless drop off.

Winter Gear Drive Advertisement

Teaching Outdoors In Winter Webinar Recap

Thursday, November 19 we hosted Teaching Outdoors in Winter webinar. Our 360 registrants came from 8 countries, 2 provinces, and 32 states! Our huge turnout reinforced what we learned from Vermont educators in our Fall Educator Survey- that classroom teachers, not only in Vermont but around the world, are eager for the training and skills to incorporate more outdoor teaching and learning into their practice. Here are a few of our favorite tips from the webinar:

Cut open your snack or granola bar wrapper before you head outside, so when you are ready to eat it, you can easily do so without having to remove your mittens or gloves!

Utilize activities that keep you and your audience moving frequently to keep warm.

Bring cut up outdoor sleeping pad squares or 5 gallon buckets as seats to avoid sitting in snow or on a cold ground

Layers of quality material are key to keeping warm! Use wool, fleece, polartec type materials, avoiding cotton when possible. 

The indoors can be a valuable resource for ourdoor education in winter! If your group is too cold, head back inside. Getting outside in all weather even for short ventures builds confidence in your skills to get your audience outdoors, and builds your audience’s resiliency! 

To learn more tips for successful experience outside this winter you can watch the recorded webinar here

Professional Learning and Resources

NAAEE Hosts Leadership Development Community of Practice for Environmental Educators

We are starting an informal community of practice for leadership development in EE to bring together anyone working in this space to share experiences, challenges, and resources, and help inform a leadership framework for our field.

Join us on December 2, 2020, at 3:00 PM US Eastern Time for our first community meet-up. Please fill out this form to receive the Zoom details: Read the NAAEE blog post detailing more information about the community of practice.

Upcoming VT Education & Environment Network Webinars:

Other Professional Development Offerings & Resources: 

VT Afterschool Fall Professional Development Offerings: 

NAAEE Webinars

  • View upcoming NAAEE webinars via eePRo 

Share your education or environment related events with us here!

Nature-Based Education Consortium

NBEC curated a large collection of resources to support school districts and community partners interested in Outdoor Learning this fall as a Covid-19 strategy. See this page for ideas on outdoor classrooms, funding, scheduling, guidance for schools and many opportunities for teachers to find training on how to do outdoor learning this year! Read and share the Outdoor Learning Quick Reference Guide for an easy entry into outdoor learning this fall.

Education Mini-Grants Available!

These mini- grants provide educators with funds to buy materials for their classroom that will aid in teaching students about Lake Champlain Watershed issues. The LCBP wants to help you build “your classroom toolkit” for teaching about watersheds. Materials requested can be for indoor or outdoor work, and should last for more than one academic year.

Eligibility: K-12 Teachers working within the Lake Champlain Basin!  

Amount: up to $1,000 

Grant Use: For materials that will aid in teaching students about Lake Champlain watershed issues. (such as microscopes, waders, monitoring equipment, field guides…)

Applications are short and accepted on a rolling basis! First come, first serve!

VT Education & Environment Member Event!

We would love to have you join our network!  Classroom educators; outdoor and environmental educators; and educational community partners are some of the audiences we strive to connect with and serve!  We strive to continue to build an inclusive and effective network of educators across the state and we’d love to hear about your interests and priorities to guide our work!  Consider joining us on December 16th from 4-5PM to learn more about our mission, our goals to serve educators, member benefits, and more!  You’ll also have a chance to meet board members and connect with colleagues!  

We hope you’ll join us! Please register here. 

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Our Mission

The Vermont Education and Environment Network is a coalition of dozens of organizations and individuals promoting environmental education in Vermont. Our mission is to foster a network of individuals and organizations working together to promote high quality outdoor, environmental and educational experiences.