This has to be the most enjoyable professional development ever devised. A group of like-minded teachers spend a week on a remote Scottish island, just chatting, sharing ideas and getting in touch with the beautiful surroundings.
It's made me realise that more learning should happen outdoors, not in the classroom. Since the week on Canna, I've tried to organise more field trips. We're also making an outdoor classroom in the school grounds. It will be enclosed by high hedges, so feel separate.
Eco Schools Scotland, which organised the Canna visit, encourages teachers to be environmentally aware. It awards a Green Flag to schools that meet certain standards, and that's what we're working towards.
But it's early days. Litter is a huge issue in secondary schools, and it's a tough one to crack. We're building a school greenhouse from plastic drinks bottles. It makes the idea of recycling more immediate. We've also started a school compost and gardening club. And we're getting kids to come up with ideas for cutting car journeys to school.
I've met up a couple of times with the people I met on Canna and we often swap emails. It's good to get new ideas, and it keeps you motivated, because making a school greener is hard wor*
Iain McGregor teaches biology at Monifieth High School in Angus. He was talking to Steven Hastings
Creative Connections is run by Eco Schools Scotland and the SpeyGrian Educational Trust, for primary and secondary teachers in Scotland. See www.speygrian.org.uk and
Next year's course is on Eigg, July 12-19, 2008. Contact Kate Campbell email@example.com
For details of projects across the UK, go to www.eco-schools.org.uk