New York City teachers are using nature materials to teach in classrooms
Teachers in New York are using materials to build and teach classrooms that use more sustainable materials, a new survey finds.
The materials were chosen for their environmental attributes, which include recycling, building quality and durability, as well as how they could be reused, the Education Department said.
New York State teachers used an array of materials in the new classroom, which includes reclaimed lumber, wood from the Brooklyn Bridge, reclaimed steel and wood from a Brooklyn tree, the agency said.
The use of materials that are non-hazardous, including bamboo, palm trees and reclaimed lumber are among the most popular choices among educators, according to the Education Dept. report.
The department found that nearly 70 percent of teachers in the three largest cities have access to a library, and students are learning in classrooms where classrooms are constructed from materials that have been reclaimed.
A third of teachers surveyed said they use materials made from natural materials, such as trees, as part of their teaching.
About 10 percent of New York teachers have access the internet, and about 1 percent have iPads, according the report.
Teachers are also finding more time to teach at home with laptops, tablets and other technology, the report said.
More than half of teachers who use materials have a student, with nearly half working at least 50 hours a week.
Nearly a third of the teachers surveyed are married or living with a partner.
About 1.2 million New Yorkers live in poverty, according a recent report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition.
About one-third of New Yorkers do not have a vehicle to transport their children, the census showed.
The survey comes amid a push to use new and creative materials to make classrooms more sustainable, said Laura Ziegler, the assistant commissioner for materials for the Department of Education.
“Teachers want to be in the classroom, but the best way to do that is to have teachers, principals, parents and students who are really involved in their classrooms,” Ziegner said.