On Saturday, 29 October 2022, the Sustainable Schools Team hosted a teacher development workshop – the final workshop to close off the year. A total of 17 teachers attended from 10 different Sustainable Schools in the Western Cape region. The workshop took place at the picturesque Monkey Valley Resort – an exquisite example of what it means to build with a sustainable, environmentally friendly ethos to preserve the natural area as much as possible.
The morning started with arrival refreshments and snacks as teachers mingled with one another and prepared for a packed day. One of the school coordinators, Thando Qayi, began the event by addressing the three spheres of sustainability, giving teachers a holistic idea of what it means to reach sustainability and how this can be incorporated into the lives of learners, teachers as well as the communities within which they find themselves. This broadened the perspective of all who attended and highlighted the importance of making a change – even in small ways. When asked what the workshop’s highlight was, one teacher responded: “The three sectors of Sustainability; it gave relevance to our planning and implementation and shed more light on how we should proceed.” Another teacher said: “The difference we make in one sector, no matter how small, can make an impact socially and economically.”
Teachers were also allowed to do group work and discuss how their schools contribute to the three sustainability spheres. They were then allowed to present their discussion to the group and share each school’s current projects and initiatives.
The owner, Judy Sole, took some time to speak about the ethos of Monkey Valley and the value of the forest and the surrounding biodiversity in the area. After that, one of the staff members took the teachers on a tour around the facility and gave some insight into the sustainable building methods and thoughts that went into the construction of Monkey Valley Resort.
The teachers thoroughly enjoyed themselves and had a lovely lunch with an ocean view while surrounded by the beauty of the mountain and milkwood forests. One teacher said the following about the overall workshop: “My highlight was Thando’s presentation. It was straight to the point and very enticing. I also loved the tour around the Monkey Valley, a beautiful place.”