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Teacher Opportunities

Teacher Opportunities

Thank you for your interest in Groundswell! If you are new to the program, read on to learn more about the benefits Groundswell offers teachers and steps for getting involved. If you are a returning Groundswell teacher, please click here to access the current Groundswell program forms and project funding applications.

What is Groundswell?

Groundswell is a place-based environmental education program housed in the College of Education at Grand Valley State University. We match schools with community organizations to create hands-on learning opportunities for K-12 students in West Michigan.

  • Educators inspire students through innovative, experiential place-based education
  • Students engage in real-world problem solving by designing solutions to environmental needs in their community
  • Community partners provide technical expertise and local connections throughout the entire experience

What Does Groundswell Provide?

Becoming a Groundswell educator will provide you with numerous resources to support place-based education and environmental stewardship in your school. You will gain access to:

Teacher Training

FREE, high-quality professional development on unique, innovative topics with substitute reimbursement available

Project Funding

Up to $1,500 to implement a student-led stewardship project to address a real environmental need in your community

Technical Support

Connections with local community organizations to provide technical support and guidance for your stewardship project

Educator Collaboration

Opportunities for networking and collaborating with other inspiring educators dedicated to place-based education

What Does Participation Involve?

There are multiple ways to participate in Groundswell, and our staff will work with you to find the best fit for you. Opportunities for participation include:

  • Beginning – Attending Groundswell professional development workshops only
  • Beginning – Attending PD and engaging in small-scale stewardship effort as an individual teacher
  • Experienced – Attending PD and engaging in larger stewardship effort as an individual teacher
  • Experienced/Team – Attending PD and engaging in larger stewardship effort as part of a teacher team
  • Experienced/Optional – Leading PD and serving as Groundswell PBE mentor

We strongly encourage teams of multiple teachers (at the same school or different schools). This approach allows for collaboration, enhances in-school support, and provides expanded place-based education opportunities for students. If you are just starting out, we do offer options for individual teachers.

Typical School-Year Timeline:

GS Timeline

How Do I Join Groundswell?