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5 Minute GAP - Hannah & Binah talk about the importance of teachers


Teachers are so important in bringing sustainability into young people's lives and making them feel that they can make a difference, but there's already a lot of pressure on Teachers to do all the things that they do. Hannah and Binah, programme managers on our Transform our World schools programme talk about the importance of support for teachers.



"We Share Freely". The change we want to see in the world is bigger than we are. So, we're sharing our knowledge, resources and ideas to help more people and organisations take steps forward towards our vision of a green and thriving planet, where everyone can enjoy happy and healthy lives within the Earth's limits.


As part of this, we're launching our new "5 Minute GAP" series, a collection of five minute conversations that will share how we work and what we're working on. We'll talk about what we're trying to achieve and why, how we function as an organisation, and the thinking behind our plans and strategy.


We'll be regularly sharing these conversations, which will feature different members of our team and trustee board, as well as external experts.


We hope you enjoy listening in to our chats, getting to know our team and finding out what makes us who we are. 



Audio only version:


If you prefer to read rather than watch, the transcription is here: 


Binah: Obviously, teachers are extremely busy people. They've got lots of things that they're required to do as part of their role. That takes up kind of more than just their working day. It's kind of a life, isn't it, that teachers are constantly busy with kind of thinking about how they're educating young people, what they're educating young people about and how they're supporting young people through kind of an ever changing landscape of the world, let alone education.


We've had a pandemic. We've had kind of different curriculum changes. We've got pressures on teachers in terms of Ofsted, in terms of exams and kind of the focus on young people's progress, as it were. But actually there's kind of a role that we can have to support teachers through that, to provide them with an opportunity to meet like minded people, to not feel alone. I think that's a really key part of the work we do with Transform Our World is not to kind of dismiss the barriers or challenges that teachers face, but to just say, you're the experts in what you do. We want to listen to you want to hear from you and we want to also bring everyone together so you don't feel alone. You might be a kind of a teacher who is interested in teaching more about environmental education within your school or within the role that you do. But actually, you might feel that you might not have immediate support from colleagues or the school network or the community. But actually there are other people out there who are doing similar things, and we can work collectively together to kind of make this progress happen. 


So yeah, I think it's a key part of the work that we do and hopefully supporting teachers is definitely more we can do. But the key thing is that we're constantly asking for feedback and being guided by them. 


Hannah: Yeah, exactly, creating something, you know, that they need and want rather than what we think they may need. And also with that community side, like helping them on board or kind of bring other teachers or their peers on the journey too. So we're not, you know, it's not just falling on the kind of eco-leads in the school.


And actually, you know, everyone does care and can take it a whole school approach to it rather than just that one person, because that's a lot of pressure.


Binah: Yeah. And I think as well. Yeah. About not feeling like it's just on them and also really emphasizing that environmental education doesn't necessarily need to be kind of doing everything at once in your school and making massive changes immediately. It's all about making those small changes maybe within certain lessons or within certain parts of the curriculum or within the culture of the school or the campus or the community side of things. And actually, we're all here to provide that support and to signpost and to really kind of show what's out there already.


There's lots of stuff that can be really supporting teachers, but I guess with hopefully trying to reduce the time it takes to find all of that and to be that go to place where teachers know that they can kind of trust what we're providing them with and and giving them that support so that they can still make decisions as to what they want to do and how they do it and when they do it. But that they can kind of always come back to us for that kind of supportive place to go to.


Hannah: Yeah, exactly. Especially speaking to a teacher recently through kind of the feedback we've been collecting is a common theme was that overwhelm.

When you start that journey and you're trying to find out how to maybe speak, what topics to introduce or teach in the classroom.

And there's just there's just so much out there, which is great. You know, all these great organisations and individuals pulling these things together to help.

But I think, yeah, the challenge is bringing it all into one place that's digestible and easy for that teacher to kind of find what they're looking for.


Binah: Yeah. I guess. Yeah. A key part of the stuff, the stuff that we do with Transform Our World and how we work is actually is we've kind of mentioned about teachers feeding back and giving us kind of an idea of what we do. But it's also just about kind of finding out what works for them and what they would like next as well, because we we do direct work with young people, albeit on a very, very small scale, but teachers are kind of working, with young people every single day and a really key part of a young person's life. And and the choices that they make at school. And it's really exciting to hear about kind of the work that teachers are doing to to empower young people to think about their future in a maybe a different way with kind of learning about more kind of environmental focus or about project based learning or about different values kind of values led education. 


And it's not only beneficial for young people, but the feedback that we get from teachers about kind of just enjoying a different way of teaching and engaging with their students as well. 


Hannah: Yeah, exactly. Like it's I think for lots of things, we think that there's just one way of doing things just because of like the system we're in and that's how we do things currently and maybe the same, you know, in teaching perhaps there's, I mean of course there's lots of different frameworks and approaches to teaching, but always exploring that is exciting. And yeah, always developing.