IslandWood’s 10-month graduate certificate program runs from mid-August to mid-June on our Bainbridge Island campus. This intensive and rigorous program includes a teaching practicum paired with academic coursework, as well as regular evening programs, trainings, and professional development.
During your first six weeks, we build your understanding, knowledge, and skills in preparation for your teaching practicum. We also help you establish your sense of place and community. You will learn about the local flora and fauna and the Island’s histories. Team building activities and discussions will help you get to know your peers, the faculty, and the broader IslandWood community. Plan on participating in workshops or classes at IslandWood Monday-Friday from 9am to 5pm with some evenings (no more than once a week) and occasional optional weekend activities.
Beginning late September/early October through early June, graduate students settle into a predictable biweekly schedule. During this time, graduate students spend every other week facilitating learning experiences for a School Overnight Program (SOP) field group of approximately 10 fourth to sixth graders. During this teaching practicum, you will plan and prepare lessons, set personal teaching goals and student learning goals, develop assessment tools, use management techniques, and apply theory from graduate coursework.
The teaching practicum includes instruction of evening programs. During the teaching weeks, graduate students are expected to eat at the dining hall. Monday dinner through Thursday lunch are provided by IslandWood.
In the weeks alternating the teaching practicum, you will act as a liaison for School Overnight Program schools. You will conduct school visits and lead pre-and post-lessons for the students in their classroom. These school visits give graduate students the opportunity to connect the SOP experience to students’ home communities. The liaison experience also gives graduate students the opportunity to build relationships with teachers and schools, learn about different types of school philosophies, experience different school cultures, and gain classroom experience.
You will also have your teaching observed by your mentor – an experienced educator on our faculty or staff – and meet with them individually to further your reflective teaching practice.
Most professional development trainings are on Mondays and all 10 graduate level classes are on Thursdays and Fridays. Up to 31 credits accredited by the University of Washington can be applied toward the completion of the M.Ed. at the University of Washington. In addition to stand alone professional development, we also offer ongoing training and development opportunities in art and garden education.