Wolf Ridge Teacher Institute

For teachers and school districts who wish to teach students safely and effectively outdoors

A custom, on-site experience with experts from the Wolf Ridge Teacher Institute can change your coronavirus teaching challenges into practices that will transform and enhance student learning well into the future. Together, we will face the issues presented this school year and do more than simply survive. We will thrive. It all starts when we think differently together.

Since 1971, Wolf Ridge has built a national, and even worldwide reputation for our staff’s high level of expertise in mentoring educators regarding outdoor learning. In that time, in addition to coaching and teaching over 700 graduate students the skills and confidence with which they now lead outdoor learning programs around the world, we are key partners in national environmental education efforts such as Social-Emotional Learning in EE, development of the BEETLES curriculum, have been invited to advise environmental education efforts in Shenzhen Province, China.

What teachers are saying about their experience…

“What an incredible gift to our educators. Your insight, wisdom, encouragement, reflection, and questions are going to help us all grow and expand our horizon of possibilities for how we serve children! There are insights you shared that I’d love to pass on to parents. So many of our parents are now pressed into an opportunity where they are 

guiding their children outdoors in different ways. I’m so excited that this collaboration is happening!” – Simon Tyler, Executive Director of Prairie Creek Community School

“In Prior Lake-Savage our partnership with Wolf Ridge is helping us improve and expand our outdoor learning. We know teaching outdoors has numerous benefits, but there are challenges. With dedicated time to work with outdoor learning experts from Wolf Ridge, we can work through those challenges and overcome them.” – Shawn Beaudette, Five Hawks 5th-grade Teacher


Wolf Ridge Teacher Institute coaching includes…

Customized help that makes a difference

There is no “one size fits all” training that can give you what you want and need most in these exceptional times. Our customized coaching sessions give confidence to your educators and support them as they develop their desire and capacity to teach outdoors. Virtual or in-person outdoor teaching observations and coaching can be arranged.

We also offer high-level technical skills to support the creation of virtual learning including video production, video editing, zoom conferencing, and creating engaging online lessons via accessible and shareable ArcGIS resources.

A broad network of support

Gain access to our growing network of partners beyond k-12 schools will enrich the resources we provide. Currently, Wolf Ridge’s Teacher Institute partners to keep abreast of current research (St. Scholastica University, Antioch University, University of Minnesota Duluth,) natural resource expertise (US Forest Service, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources,) cultural perspectives (Grand Portage National Monument,) innovative educational models (The Great Lakes Aquarium,) and public outdoor learning spaces (MN State Parks, the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Residential Environmental Learning Centers, Hartley Nature Center.)

Setting up your session

  • At least two weeks prior:  Contact Joe.Walewski@wolf-ridge.org
  • One week prior:  Confirm visit, coaching, training dates
  • Virtual or In-person visit and coaching: We begin by learning about you and your site. After observing, we prepare feedback and propose personalized training (in-person or virtual) that will help you meet your specific goals quickly and effectively.