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Contact: Daniel banks, (423) 286-7275
Contact: Christopher DermanOn July 20, Jacob Miller concluded his Teacher-Ranger-Teacher (TRT) experience at Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area. A fourth grade teacher at Huntsville Elementary School, in Huntsville, Tennessee, Jacob worked as Big South Fork’s TRT where his main focus was to create new educational resources that highlighted the aquatic plants and animals within the park. He created a new lesson plan which will allow students to gain a better understanding of the river ecosystem, its importance, and how the interdependence of species plays a crucial role in water quality.
As to why Jacob applied, he said, “I have always had a fascination with the National Park Service and thought this would be a great way for me to learn more about Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area.”
When asked what his experience as a TRT was like, he said, “my experience as a TRT was awesome! I learned a lot about the resources that the park has to offer and how I could use these to enrich a science classroom.”
The TRT program is a professional development opportunity for K-12 teachers to spend the summer acquiring new skills in experiential learning through a program provided by a partnership between the National Park Service (NPS) and the University of Colorado at Denver (CUD). The participants spend between four and six weeks in an NPS unit developing a major educational project and participating in an online graduate course from CUD.
The Teacher-to-Ranger-to-Teacher program is an extended professional development opportunity for teachers to connect with national parks through a summer work experience. Teachers selected as teacher-rangers spend the summer performing various duties depending on their interests and the needs of the park. The Teacher-Ranger-Teacher program allows parks to reach teachers and students who have had little or no experience with a national park setting and provides opportunities to explore the relevance that National Park Service sites can have in their lives.