Teacher Professional Development

Come learn with us in the Garden! The VBGA is pleased to welcome educators & teachers to our online and in-person Teacher Professional Development workshops at VanDusen Botanical Garden and Bloedel Conservatory.

Throughout the academic year we strive to offer engaging educational courses to help develop your gardening and botany skills, deepen your knowledge of our local ecology, and inspire you to step outside and explore with your students in the great outdoors.

Find the perfect fit for you and your teaching team.

2024 Teacher Professional Development Workshops

  • +(Feb 16) Nature Journaling with your Students SOLD OUT

    Friday, February 16: 9.00am – 12.00pm

    Join Bea Martin at VanDusen Botanical Garden for this fun and interactive skill-building workshop, where participants will learn how to bring nature journaling to their classrooms. In a friendly, welcoming, and supportive environment, participants will learn and practice easy activities and exercises, drawing fundamentals, explore a variety of low-cost art materials, and how to apply them to drawing outdoors with their students, using pictures, words, and numbers. Curricular tie-ins abound!

    You do not need to be an artist to bring nature journaling to your classroom or keep a nature journal. All you need is a pencil and a sketchbook… and curiosity! We will spend time indoors and outdoors, weather permitting.

    Join the waitlist

  • +(Feb 16) Schoolyard Birds for Educators (Online)

    Friday, February 16: 9.30am – 11.30am

    Birds are everywhere, making them a beautiful and engaging nature connection for students right outside your school doors.

    Join us for Schoolyard Birds for Educators, an ONLINE Teacher Pro-D workshop with the Vancouver Avian Research Centre’s (VARC) Public Outreach & Education Coordinator, Candace Ross. This workshop will help empower teachers to incorporate bird themes into the classroom and curriculum. We will explore common backyard birds, their amazing adaptations, and how birds are working for us and the local environment.

    This virtual Pro-D session includes a lecture, Q & A, activity ideas and demonstrations, and a teacher resource package.

    Learn more & register!

  • +The Garden Classroom Series 2023-2024 with Megan Zeni

    Free Registration for practicing K-7 Teachers!
    September 2023 – June 2024
    Wednesdays from 7:00pm – 8:30pm
    September 6, October 11, November 8, December 6, January 10, February 7, March 6, April 10, May 8, June 5

    This online 10-part series with Megan Zeni will support K-7 elementary teachers eager to explore opportunities for teaching across the curriculum in their Westcoast school garden.

    Each month we will review timely tasks that help keep gardens growing, as well as specific curricular connections, and practical management tips for teaching outdoors. Seasonal resources will be shared, and participants are encouraged to share their own success stories and challenges to broaden our collective expertise.

    Register now!

  • +Private Teacher Professional Development Workshops

    The VBGA is pleased to offer Private Teacher Professional Development Workshops at VanDusen Botanical Garden for your full staff team this upcoming school year!

    Design your perfect day of customized learning and skill-building for your team by selecting from a menu of workshop themes best suited to your team. Our workshops are facilitated by our dynamic VBGA education staff, using the 55-acre garden as our classroom for the day. Programs will run out of the Guides Classroom in the Visitor Centre.

    Choose from half day (3hrs) or full day (5hrs) programs.

    Themes include:

    • Iconic BC Trees
    • Natural Heritage Walk
    • Flowers & Pollinators
    • A Seasonal Sense of Nature
    • Coastal BC Native Plants
    • Nature Play in the Garden
    • Birds & Plants

    *Please confirm availability of  seasonal programs.

    We look forward to welcoming your staff team to the Garden!

    With a limited number of dates available each year, booking well in advance is highly recommended.

    How to Book: For inquiries, please send an email with your preferred workshop date, name, school and district, estimated number of staff, to Jessica Henry, Assistant Director of Education: jhenry@vandusen.org.

    2024 Program Fees:  

    Half Day Workshop (3 hrs)  $840.00 + gst  Program fee includes up to 20 people. Additional participants will be charged at $42 / person.  
    Full Day Workshop (5 hrs)  $1,400.00 + gst  Program fee includes up to 20 people. Additional participants will be charged at $70 / person. 

    *A non-refundable deposit of $250.00 for half-day/ $450.00 for full-day programs is required to reserve your program date at the time of booking. The booking deposit will be applied towards the remaining fee for the program. The remainder of the program fee; (+gst) and charges for all additional participants (over the 20 participants included in the base fee) will be invoiced on the day of the program, to be paid in full within 2 weeks of the program date.

    Cancellation Policy:
    Due to high demand for these programs on professional development days, we are unable to offer refunds of the booking deposit fee. If you need to cancel your program, please notify us of your cancellation in writing to jhenry@vandusen.org.

  • +Free courses for K-12 teachers

    If you are a K – Grade 12 teacher, you may be eligible for free online Botany, Ecology or Gardening classes to aid in your classroom teaching or development of a school garden. Check out our online course offerings under Adult Education – Botany & Ecology or Gardening & Design, then please complete this Request Form, and send to apineda@vandusen.org to register.