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