A public garden & cultural center

Professional Learning

Wave Hill provides a variety of hands-on, engaging, professional learning opportunities, including day-long workshops and custom programs for schools and other groups. Participants learn innovative and effective ways to connect the natural world to classroom learning, explore multiple entry points for different types of learners and develop an understanding of current research behind pedagogical approaches and learning theories.

Continuing Teacher and Leader Education (CTLE) credits through the New York State Education Department (NYSED) are available for participants who successfully complete professional learning programs at Wave Hill.



Election Day, Tuesday, November 5, 2019
Chancellor’s Day, Thursday, June 4, 2020
Fee: $65 per person; 20% discount for teachers in Title I schools

Registration required for all programs;please call 718.549.3200 x237 to register.

Election Day Event: Zoom In to Nature
Time: 10AM – 3PM

Wave Hill is known for its breathtaking Hudson vistas and winding woodland trails. It boasts century old trees and an extensive history entangled with the Palisades. Sometimes we are so swept up in the grandeur that we lose sight of the small things. Join us for an investigation of Wave Hill’s creatures both tiny and mighty. Take a breath to witness the mysteries of insects. Get an up close look at the spines of cacti. Discover the beauty in the heartbeat of a hummingbird.

Educator Welcome and Morning Session

Meet and greet fellow educators over coffee and bagels, then begin digging in to research-backed pedagogy through inquiry-based activities and facilitated conversations. This morning session focuses on accessing the prior knowledge of our learners so that we may utilize even the tiniest and most personal nature connections to spark inquiry in all classrooms.

Lunch Break

You may purchase lunch in The Café, or bring your own to enjoy in our outdoor picnic area.

Afternoon Workshops
1PM–3 PM

Participate in one of three workshops. Each workshop will provide a unique learning experience that delves into content and appropriate pedagogy while utilizing different entry points for deeper learning in education.

Building Science Skills and Empathy (recommended for grade Pre-K-5)

From the Hungry Caterpillar to the cockroach in your kitchen, insects capture our imaginations and call our full range of emotions into play! In this session, we consider how best to channel varied experiences and feelings regarding insects to grow students into compassionate, confident members of the scientific community. We begin with a focus on open inquiry, empathy and body movement. We will then develop these themes via the introduction of concrete field skills and data collection. The workshop culminates in a discussion and demonstration of environmental actions that each age group may take using insects as an entry point. All activities are linked to the New York Scope and Sequence as well as Social Emotional Learning practices.

Insect Investigation (Recommended for grades 6-12)

Learn how even the smallest organisms can be a substantial resource in the classroom! Insects are everywhere, but we often overlook them or consider them as unwelcome guests. Instead, insects can be used to help students understand many complex topics and difficult concepts. Participants spend time in Wave Hill’s gardens and woodland conducting a survey of insect biodiversity, and then explore how to use these insects to teach concepts including taxonomy, evolution, genetics and ecology. Throughout the session, we connect content knowledge about our smallest neighbors to grade-level standards and curriculum expectations so that educators leave armed with fresh ideas to integrate insects easily into their lessons.

I See Flowers, Flowers See Me (Recommended for all grades)

Engage with storytelling practices that support imaginative world-building and foster self-awareness to empower students. This session uses biomimicry to craft personal narratives and shape our place in the world. We look to individual plant behaviors to unpack larger ecological phenomena and better understand that “who you are at the small scale is who you are at the large scale” (Emergent Strategy, Adrienne Maree Brown). Together, we explore restorative justice in the classroom, as well as methods to integrate the topic into literacy and humanities lessons. We introduce several ways nature-based art using upcycled and natural materials, including scroll-making, erasure poetry and self-portraits can create personal narratives.

For School Administrators

Wave Hill offers workshops and full-day learning opportunities. Administrators can select programs on interactive nature exploration (K–6), nature-based art for elementary science instruction (K–5), the interplay between humans and our environment (6–12) and ecology and restoration (K–12). Custom programs and trainings at your site are also available.