Coach's Guide (Educator's Curriculum)
The Coach's Guide assumes that you, the coach, are working with a group of children. This allows you to add two important features to the children's program: a peer support system and an adult support system. This support increases the likelihood of a successful journey for the children.
The Coach's Guide provides a set of suggested activities for each of the Journey's five sections. Each section is designed to be completed in one week, and each section has a menu of five activities. If you work with the children throughout the week, you can choose to do an activity each day for five days. Although, the program is designed for each section to be completed in one week, you can design any number of variations for the program's delivery.
The Coach's Guide lengthens the program to seven weeks. The children's journey is still five weeks. Plan on starting your preparation for the program two weeks in advance. An introductory lesson is recommended a few days before the journey begins. A celebration following the completion of the Journey is recommended two weeks after the children complete the program.
Design a program that fits your context and your needs. The total amount of actual time with the children can vary from a minimum of ten activity hours to a maximum of thirty activity hours over the seven weeks of the program.
Peer Support EcoTeams
Business tells us that the skills of working on a team are important in the workplace. Schools are moving to more "cooperative learning" instruction to help students develop these skills. The EcoTeams are an opportunity for the children to develop teamwork skills as well as learn how to live an Earth-friendly lifestyle.
The EcoTeams provide support for the children during the most critical moments of the journey—the actual doing of the actions. When difficulties arise, the child has a friend right there. The team can problem-solve or be creative. In addition, children love being with their friends. This teaming allows the children to be social, and to enjoy their friends as they do the action steps together.
Children travel their Journey for the Planet in an independent manner. The activities of the Coach's Guide support the journey. A key feature of this support is to assist the children's work without taking it over. The children can only develop new behaviors if they maintain ownership of their actions and their actions’ impacts. The coach must reach a balance in providing support without doing too much for the children.
There is parent communication built into the Journey for the Planet despite the fact that the Journey is an independent program for children. The communication ensures that the child's actions will not catch parents by surprise, since the child will share his/her plans before action begins. Most of this activity happens in the household, so it is important to have informed parents.
The communication also helps build support from parents for the child's actions, and helps build the parents' interest in living a more sustainable lifestyle.