CERES Education Interview with Jenny Fowles
Educator/Sustainability Coordinator, Richmond Creche and Kindergarten
July 2015

1. How did you first get started with environmental education?

It began with some interested staff members coming together and discussing how our teaching philosophy and pedagogy, which is heavily influenced by education for sustainability principles, wasn’t in line with our centre wide operational practices.

We began by looking at our rate of consumption, reliance on disposal products and the waste we were producing and identified ways to combat the alarming figures we discovered. Our environmental sustainability work has grown from this and has now become an essential component of our centre and community identity.

2. What have been the biggest highlights of your journey so far?

Without a doubt, receiving feedback from the children, staff members, parents and other community members about how our work, and awareness building about environmental sustainability, has impacted on their own beliefs, thoughts and practices in their home and personal life.

The other major highlights have been witnessing a huge boost in staff morale and passion for education, discovering the work that other educational settings and community organisations are doing and in turn, becoming a part of this ever growing network of similar minded and inspirational people/groups.

3. What has been the biggest obstacle? How did you/are you overcoming it?

It is the age old story of time, people power and resources; my biggest worry is ensuring that what we have already achieved, and where we are heading in to the future, is carried on regardless of the people who work here or the families that attend our service.

As a whole, the early childhood education and care sector is often undervalued and faced with continuous uncertainty, which makes looking towards the future and the long term quite precarious at times. We are working incredibly hard at raising the profile of early childhood educators and teachers and our environmental sustainability work is an important part of being recognised as professionals who are achieving incredible things on a daily basis.

4. What future plans or goals are you excited about?

This year we are focusing upon realising a long held dream of getting solar panels installed on our facility. Our building is over 120 years old and we have worked hard in order to modernise it and bring it up to date; installing solar panels would be a huge commitment to future environmental sustainability work and ensures that the centre will continue on in this direction.

5. What advice would you offer to someone wanting to begin a sustainability program at their school or organisation?

Passion and enthusiasm will only get you so far; whilst these two qualities are absolutely essential, without other people supporting your cause you will only be able to achieve so much. Talk, talk and talk and get people on board; utilise absolutely anyone and everyone no matter their skill set or interest level.

And also, have a clear motivating reason; for us it is simple, it is the children we have the privilege of spending our days with 5 days a week. We are helping to empower these children to become future advocates of the environment; it is their future world that we are creating and I want them to be proud of the state of that world.

CERES Education would like to thank Jenny for sharing her story.

Also check out:
Sustainability page on the Richmond Creche and Kindergarten’s website

By CERES Education – Outreach Team|2017-11-06T18:26:14+10:00June 30th, 2015|0 Comments