Teachers in Stockholm talk Sustainable Development with RCE Leaders

Posted May 1, 2018

The evening before RCE Saskatchewan's 10th annual Sustainability Awards, teachers at MacDonald School in Stockholm toured visiting RCE leaders Roger Petry and Chuck Hopkins through their innovative school yard, home to a goat, chickens, fire pit, forest area, trails, greenhouse and mental health gazebo.  They also toured other teachers from the area and stayed after to learn from Hopkins. 

"What you're doing here is inspiring and you need to know there are people around the world just like you," Hopkins told them.   He described the evolution of sustainable development and shared one of his favourite definitions, given to him by an African elder:  "Enough... for all... forever."  He also put the school's work in the global context.  "I love to see how people maximize the resources they have. Thank you so much for everything you are doing. I hope you will become a powerful part of RCE Saskatchewan.  We will continue to learn and grow together."   

Teacher Melissa Johanson said the evening gave her new perspective and motivation.  "It was all the people coming together and realizing there's other people like us, and it's important to make those connections and to further our learning."  She said listening to Hopkins strengthened her vision for the future. "What really made me think the hardest was when he asked what are the problems around here."  She and her colleagues described issues such as recycling, and the disappearance of bush and wetlands in the area.  "It took me a while to think of these, but I have been thinking about these issues.  So now it's how we can make a difference, how we can allow the children to feel that responsibility?  It's doing what we're doing but just going deeper and moving it "from me to we."

The school's principal, Reg Leidl, said the visit was exciting for his staff and students.  "We feel incredibly honoured to have you with us.  It's been incredibly profound."

Hopkins left them with encouragement. "You are doing the best you can ... it's darn good!  Hopkins is UNESCO Chair at York University on Re-orienting Educations for Sustainable Development.