The Teacher–Ranger–Teacher (TRT) program provides opportunities for teachers to connect to the resources in a national park. Teachers develop lesson plans based on their park experience for use in the classroom and parks. The program focuses on teachers from schools with ethnically diverse student populations, who have had little or no experience with national parks or limited opportunity to explore the relevance parks can have in their lives and the lives of their students.
Classroom teachers are detailed as park rangers to Colonial National Historical Park through an Inter-Governmental Personnel Act (IPA) agreement between their own public school district and the National Park Service. This program links Colonial with teachers from under-served school districts. Teachers spend time working in the park. They perform various duties depending on their interests and the needs of the park. During this time, the park provides a ranger uniform and a stipend.
Once they return to their schools, teacher-rangers bring national parks into the classroom during National Park Week.
Colonial National Historical Park currently has IPAs with Gloucster County Public Schools and Williamsburg-James City Public School Systems.
- Obtain a wide range of new knowledge and skills by working with park staff and partners
- Enhance their curriculum in multiple content areas
- Gain access to a wide array of teaching resources and tools
- Begin or extend a life-long personal connection with national parks
To School Children:
- Provide an opportunity to connect to their nation’s heritage in new and creative ways
- Learn about the possibilities for volunteering and paid employment with the National Park Service
- Receive new tools and resources for exploring natural and cultural history
To Colonial National Historical Park:
- Opportunity to reach new or under-served audiences
- Build a network of enthusiastic, knowledgeable educators who are able to teach their students and colleagues about the ethics and issues of heritage conservation
- Enrich the park visitor experience through the programming and visitor service offered by the teacher-ranger
To National Park Partners:
- Serve partner missions or interests to promote the understanding, protection, and conservation of Colonial National Historical Park
- Participate in and assess outreach efforts by park partners
- Strengthen collaborative relationship with NPS
Potential Park Experiences
Future TRT assignments and projects will depend upon the individuals hired and current park projects. Training in history and the National Park Service mission will be provided. Duties may include observing, preparing, and presenting public programs; staffing the visitor center; roving interpretation; assisting with field research; performing visitor surveys; evaluating school programs; providing community outreach; working with other divisions in the park; or assisting park staff and teacher workshops.
Contact Diane Depew, Yorktown Battlefield supervisor, via e-mail or by phone (757-898-2412).