Professional Teacher Development

Professional Training for Teachers

Seatuck has been providing professional development opportunities for teachers for over a decade. This work focuses on helping teachers develop a deeper understanding of Long Island’s natural history and learning techniques for using the outdoors as an extension of the classroom and incorporating the natural world into daily lessons. Seatuck’s work with teachers includes both the annual year-long Greentree Foundation Teachers’ Ecology Workshop and custom, shorter trainings for teacher groups, grade levels, administrators, schools or districts.

Greentree Teachers’ Ecology Workshop

The Greentree Foundation Teachers’ Ecology Workshop, which was founded by Seatuck and the Greentree Foundation in 2012, is a year-long program to provide school teachers with the knowledge and techniques they need to teach Long Island students about the natural world more effectively. Two sessions of the Workshop are offered: one for elementary school teachers and one for middle & high school teachers.

The Workshop includes a one-week session at Greentree’s historic 400-acre property in Manhasset, five seasonal one-day field trips over the following school year, and a graduation dinner.

The Workshop provides participants with:

  • Familiarity with Long Island’s geological history
  • General knowledge of local ecosystems and wildlife
  • Strategies & tools for using the outdoors as an extension of the classroom
  • Existing curriculum to connect students to nature
  • A forum to share challenges & successes with peers
  • Engagement and ongoing dialogue about nature-based teaching with a community of over 300 Workshop alumni from across Long Island

In addition to Seatuck and Greentree staff, Workshop instructors include professors from Adelphi University, Hofstra University, and The College of Staten Island. All participants receive a certificate of the hours attended during the Workshop and professional development credits are available through My Learning Plan.

Custom Teacher Trainings

In addition to the Greentree Ecology Workshop, Seatuck offers customized professional development opportunities for teachers and administrators. These programs, which can be half-day, full-day or multi-day, can focus on a range of subjects, including various natural history topics, the value of nature-based teaching, techniques for teaching outdoors, and strategies for incorporating hands-on nature experiences into the curriculum.  All programs can be adjusted to varying grade levels.


Related Information

Suffolk County Environmental Center

The Spotted Turtle (Clemmys guttata) is a small, secretive, semi-aquatic species that is found in a wide variety of shallow wetland habitats and their adjacent upland areas. It was once considered the most common turtle in New York State and the New York City region.

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Native Schoolyard Garden Program

Seatuck’s Native Schoolyard Garden Program engages students in planning, prepping, planting and nurturing small native gardens on their school grounds. In the process, students gain valuable knowledge about their local environment and the natural world as teachers can easily incorporated lessons on the life cycle of plants, the role of insects as pollinators and decomposers and the value of native plants to birds and other wildlife, just to name a few.

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Guided by the principal that it’s never too early to start developing a connection to nature, Seatuck’s pre-school programs seek to immerse youngsters in authentic, hands-on experiences in the natural world. The outdoors provide an unparalleled environment for learning and enrichment.

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