Lowndes County ‘Teaching As A Profession’ Students Learn About Environmental Education

| December 20, 2013

LHS Teaching As a Profession VALDOSTA, GA – Lowndes County’s future teachers were recently given a small taste of what it means to be an environmental educator at Project Learning Tree (PLT) Educator Workshop held on Dec. 2-3 at Lowndes High School (LHS).

The LHS “Teaching As A Profession” (TAAP) Program is designed to capture the interest of secondary students as potential teachers, introduce students to teaching as a profession and foster respect for the teaching profession. TAAP students who participated in the PLT professional development workshop were provided with an enriching learning experience that is aimed at established a strong foundation in research based environmental education.
“This workshop was a phenomenal learning experience,” LHS Senior Jessica Vaquerano said. “I had the opportunity to learn how to be a better teacher using hands on activities. My favorite activities were the water wonders and making paper activities.”

TAAP students will use the material in the PLT workshop as they present lessons during their internships next semester. TAAP internships offer a candidates field experience under the direct supervision of a certified teacher (mentor teacher). PLT helps these future educators by using the forest as a “window” into natural and built environments, helping them to gain an awareness and knowledge of the world around them, as well as their place within it. Through hands-on, interdisciplinary activities, the workshop provided students with opportunities to investigate environmental issues and make informed, responsible decisions.
“The training my students received through PLT will be integral a part of their future lessons when they have their own classrooms,” Amy Carter, TAAP Coordinator and Georgia State Representative, said. “I loved the hands-on approach to teaching science skills.”

PLT activities are designed by educators and can be used indoors and outdoors to provide developmentally appropriate hands-on learning activities for children in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. PLT’s field tested activities are correlated to the Georgia Performance Standards and Math and English Language Arts Common Core Standards. Since 1986 over 20,000 educators have attended PLT workshops in Georgia. Nationally and internationally, more than 500,000 adults have been trained in how to use PLT.

PLT Facilitators who assisted with the workshop include Barbara Boler, The Langdale Company; Jamie Pitts, Packaging Corporation of America; Julie Reffel, Valdosta State University; Missy Eason, Pine Grove Elementary; and 2010 National PLT Educator of the Year Joy Cowart, Lowndes High School.

Source: Lowndes County School System Press Release

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  1. Leigh Touchton says:

    This is a wonderful program and commend Lowndes High for implementing. However, I am unhappy that State Representative Amy Carter is part of it.

    Amy Carter’s representation in the Georgia legislature has been antithetical to public education. In addition to voting to allow guns at schools and colleges, she voted to put the School Consolidation referendum to the ballot, which drained enormous amounts of time and energy from our public school administrators and school board officials who had to educate our community (while Rep Carter was staging “dog and pony shows” throughout her district and basically telling us “how expensive public education is”—as a mother and citizen, I think the lesson should have been “how expensive it is to society NOT to have public education”). She has consistently voted for ALEC-sponsored legislation that weakens public education through School Consolidation and taxpayer-funded charter schools. A massive amount of tax revenue is currently siphoned off in the form of tax benefits for those who “donate” to private schools while donors to public school foundations receive no tax benefit. Rep. Carter has done nothing as a legislator to redress this ridiculous tax boondoggle that is taking money away from public education and funneling it to private schools.

    In the upcoming session of the Georgia legislature, the NRA/ALEC backed gun bill that opens up schools, churches, colleges, universities, bars and virtually every public space in Georgia to concealed carry will return for a vote, it was narrowly blocked last session by procedural means. With a super-majority of Republicans like Rep. Amy Carter in office (who ran as a Democrat in 2010 and switched to the Republican party 3 weeks after getting elected, after soliciting MY support at a local Democratic Party meeting–as we say in the South: “a handful of gimme and a mouthful of much obliged”), our schools are in danger of becoming less safe, not safer, in the wake of horrific school shootings. Even the Chancellor of the University System of Georgia, and all the presidents of our Georgia system colleges and universities, signed an unprecedented proclamation against allowing concealed carry on our school campuses, our Chancellor even spoke on the floor of the Georgia legislature. Rep. Carter listened, and then voted with her fellow NRA supporters. Rep. Carter was made aware that Valdosta State University, one of the largest employers in Lowndes County, is the leader in Georgia on this issue: a nearly unanimous vote by the VSU Faculty Senate prohibiting guns on the VSU campus. VSU President McKinney likewise signed on to the Chancellor’s system-wide letter. Never in the history of Georgia has something like this occurred in our public colleges and universities, and Rep. Carter, despite wanting to be seen as a friend to education, voted against the overwhelming majority of educational professionals, including the wishes of members of her own School Board, elected officials who truly DO represent the best interests of our students. Shame on Rep. Carter.

    It’s wonderful that Lowndes High School has an Environmental Education program in place for our students, it’s very sad that the teacher involved is a state legislator who votes to hurt public education and these same students.