Climate change is the ultimate teaching moment

“Code Red for Humanity.”

That’s what the New York Times chose Title Podcast summary of the recent United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report. The other outlets were similarly horrible. “Climate change is real and it’s permanent” Blade The Washington Post, then the Guardian Focused “Potential damage to many countries in the century.”

My professional focus is on environmental sustainability and climate resilience in K-12 schools, but, honestly, those headlines drove me in another direction. So it took me a few days to sit down and get stressed. When I did that, my emotions started to grow. As I thought about my children and their future, I felt overwhelmed with fear, guilt, and anxiety. I felt waves of resentment at decision makers who have neglected indigenous knowledge for decades and preferred short-term benefits over long-term sustainability. And then every time, the little pain of rigidity, determination and stubborn optimism was felt.

What has kept my optimism alive is the growing movement in education to prioritize environment and climate literacy, as well as sustainability and climate resilience. More and more teachers across the country (and the world) are joining the movement, helping students discover the complex realities of environmental and climate crises.

Yet the majority of teachers feel overwhelmed or confused about the reality of climate change and how to put it on an already long list of priorities and initiatives. Other teachers blame them for not doing enough and many worry about growth. “Environmental concern“(Or weather frustration) in children and young people. And it’s clear that most educational leaders are not yet part of the climate leadership landscape – not to mention that the environment and climate change are completely excluded from all teacher and administrative credential preparation programs.”

Academic leaders can drive change

Despite all these challenges, the K-12 education system has been specifically asked by the IPCC to act as the report concludes. The report appeals to every country, every region and every human being to change the paradigm shift towards environmental, sustainable and social existence.

The main findings of the IPCC Sixth Assessment Overview and Implications for Academic Leaders:
First, global warming is undeniably (100 percent certain) caused by humans
Secondly, the effects of the climate crisis are already here and they are having an unequal impact on low-income, black, indigenous and other colored communities.
Third, temperatures have already risen by 1.09 ° C since 1880, and emissions from the next decade will remain at 1.5 ° C for the next twenty years.
It is important to note that the IPCC report is extremely reliable. This is undeniable by all 195 countries in the United Nations and by the scientific community.

Because effective paradigm shifts must involve all different levers for change, including strategy, behavior, and mindset, there is a huge benefit (and some will argue for responsibility) to catalyze change in the K-12 education system. Teachers cannot ask for more important instructive moments than the final important conclusion: if humans act urgently, temperatures can reach 1.5 degrees Celsius and then drop, helping to stabilize life on the planet and beyond. For schools, this means rethinking how K-12 education can help humans figure out how to survive and thrive in a climate age.

Over the past few decades, academic leaders have faced many challenges. Initiatives at the federal, state, and local levels seek to address the significant inequalities that plague us in the K-12 education system in terms of educational outcomes. Leaders are beginning to face the scourge of trauma in schools, the transformation of schools.Shock-information“The environment. Most recently, education leaders have responded to the Covid-19 crisis, which requires a complete overhaul of every aspect of daily life for school communities. Young people will be protected.

Similar to Kovid-1, traditional K-12 schooling needs to be redesigned to protect and nurture children and youth in times of climate crisis, to prevent learning disabilities, and to manage risk. Reducing and adapting to the climate crisis is the primary responsibility of school leaders, and communities must develop a plan that will restructure every aspect of school through lenses of sustainability and climate resilience, from campus facilities and operations, to curriculum, to community engagement, and to school culture as a whole.

How teachers can get started

See full Summary of IPCC Sixth Assessment Report and Overview for Academic Leaders, Which includes access to a list of top 10 actions that academic leaders can respond to right now. The list goes from simple to complex and is organized into a single framework The whole school is durable and weather resistant. Highlights include:

  • Continue to learn about climate change so that you can speak fluently on the topic and explain why prioritizing climate helps build a healthy, fair and sustainable school community.
  • Accept the role of changemaker and integrate stability and climate resilience into your leadership philosophy.
  • Invest in systematic change by implementing the Sustainability Coordinator and / or the School and District-wide Sustainability and Climate Resistance Task Force.
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions in campus facilities and operations.
  • Integrated lessons and units, as well as opportunities for solutions and project-based learning for all students at each class level.

It is so important that educational leaders see themselves as part of the climate leadership landscape, so that we can build a foundation of educational leaders who can speak more fluently about the climate crisis and take action to help mitigate and adapt their school community. In the age of weather. Our students and our planets depend on us.

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