Teaching Against Climate Despair: A Climate Justice Teach-In
Monday, May 23, 2022
4:00 pm – 5:30 pm, Virtual.
Hosted by the Portland Public Schools Energy & Sustainability Team, co-sponsored by the PPS Climate Justice Committee and the Portland Association of Teachers
Join us online as teachers from around Portland share how they creatively incorporate climate justice topics into their classrooms, from art and activism to Indigenous knowledge to the science and economics of a green future.
Let’s share how we equip our students to recognize the breadth of the climate emergency, to probe its social and economic causes, and to come to see themselves as activists for a just society and a stable climate.
Erika Alabarca, Roseway Heights Middle School — Erika is a 7th-grade social studies teacher at Roseway Heights, where she helps organize an after-school ECO club, and incorporates soil regeneration into her classes. She is an active member of the PPS Climate Justice Committee.
Christina Aucutt, Grant High School — Christina teaches the Climate Justice elective at Grant High School, where she brings speakers from across Portland to tie climate justice education to real world issues and grassroots initiatives.
Caitlin Blood, MITCH Charter School — Caitlin is a former farmer and agricultural advisor. She is the Director of Sustainability at MITCH Charter School, where she works to root classroom content in an agricultural framework. Her students explore math, language arts, science, and history through hands-on agricultural observation and practice.
Treothe Bullock, McDaniel High School — “Tre” teaches Climate Justice and Chemistry at McDaniel and is an active member of the PPS Climate Justice Committee.
Joe Ferguson, Alliance High School — Joe is the Natural Resources, Science, and Instructional Facilitator at Alliance. He incorporates climate science and sustainability lessons into his classrooms, setting up wildlife cameras at Whitaker Ponds and partnering with Community Cycling Center for bike mechanic lessons.
Rachel Hanes, Glencoe Elementary — Rachel is a 2nd-grade teacher, member of the PPS Climate Justice Committee, and active in the Portland Association of Teachers. Her teaching aims to connect students’ lives to climate issues, such as oil pipelines and forests.
Jesse Hunter, Woodstock Elementary — Jesse is a 2nd-grade teacher at Woodstock School in Southeast Portland. He has led efforts to establish school gardens and garden education programs at Lent Elementary and Woodstock.
Suzie Kassouf, Grant High School — Suzie has a deep background in grassroots climate justice organizing. At Grant High School, she has focused on turning her classroom into a place for connection, community, justice, and love.
Cat Phung, Growing Gardens — Cat is the North Portland Youth Grow Educator and Community Organizer for Growing Gardens. She is a first-generation Vietnamese American, gardener and cook, with a background in environmental science and outreach.
Gerald Scrutchions, Grant High School — “Scutch” teaches Human Rights and Environmental Justice at Grant. He has been a mentor, educator, and advocate for many of the student climate activists from Tubman Middle School protesting the I-5 freeway expansion.
Tim Swinehart, Lincoln High School — Tim teaches environmental justice and is a member of the PPS Climate Justice Committee. He works with district staff to devise and implement policies to spread climate justice education across Portland Public Schools.