Canal Classroom Corps

Canal Classroom Corps Teachers at the C&O Canal
Canal Classroom Corps Teachers at the C&O Canal

NPS Photo

Join the Canal Classroom Corps!


We are always looking for talented teachers and volunteers to join our education team! The Canal Classroom Corps is comprised of retired teachers, local educators, professionals, and volunteers who have an interest in outdoor youth education! Canal Classroom Teachers work side-by-side with park rangers to help the park meet the large amount of education program requests coming from schools each year. Canal Classroom Teachers bring their knowledge and experience of working with youth or expertise in a content area, as they develop and deliver education programs at a variety of park locations.

The Canal Classrooms Corps is an education partnership between the C&O Canal National Historical Park and the C&O Canal Trust. The C&O Canal Trust, Inc. is the park's official partner, leading the effort on fundraising and collaboration opportunities to support the award-winning Canal Classrooms education program. Thanks to the generosity of the C&O Canal Trust, we offer a daily stipend to teachers to help cover their daily expenses for participation in the program, i.e. gas and food.
 
Canal Teacher with Students
Canal Classroom Corps Teacher with Students

NPS Photo

Scheduling, Working Conditions, and Job Duties

Scheduling: Canal Classroom Corps Teachers are scheduled in the fall/spring semesters to assist park rangers with visiting school groups. Canal Classrooms Education programs are scheduled daily between 8:30am and 1:30pm, in the Fall (September-November) and in the Spring (March-May). Canal Classrooms Corps Teachers provide their availability prior to each semester and are scheduled according to their availability one to three days each week during the spring and fall. Canal Classroom Corps Teachers must be available a minimum of 1 day per week each semester.


Group Size: The average school group visiting the park each day is 100 students. We divide this large group into subgroups of 25 students or less. However, some groups are smaller with 15 or fewer students. Whatever the group size may be, each subgroup will have a minimum of 2 Canal Classroom Corps Teachers, one or more School Teachers, and/or park ranger staff. Canal Classroom Corps Teachers are NEVER scheduled alone with a group.

Job Duties: Canal Classrooms Corps Teachers complete training in Canal Classrooms curriculum programs. Curriculum is developed in a collaborative effort between the park and local school districts to met the learning needs of students while addressing specific learning standards. Canal Classrooms curriculum programming is offered at three park locations: Great Falls (Montgomery County, Maryland), Williamsport (Washington County, Maryland), or Cumberland (Allegany County, Maryland which includes the following sites: Paw Paw Tunnel, Oldtown, Spring Gap/Lockhouse 75 and the Canal Terminus at Cumberland). A Canal Classrooms Corps Teacher will choose the location they would like to be scheduled - Great Falls, Williamsport or Cumberland area.

Working Conditions: Canal Classrooms feature outdoor programs occuring rain or shine. Canal Classroom Corps Teachers should expect a variety of temperatures and weather conditions and should dress in layers for cool mornings and warm afternoons. Programming will be cancelled during extreme weather which includes: extreme cold, high winds, flooding, thunderstorms and heavy rain showers. On average, Canal Classroom Corps Teachers walk several miles each day during education programs. Walking is primarily on the towpath, but can also include other trails. While the trails remain relatively flat, there are a few programs that require hiking trails with a sharper elevation change. Towpath and trail conditions may be slippery, muddy, wet, and are always uneven. Additional safety considerations while in the park will be covered during Canal Classroom Corps Training and might include stinging insects, tick prevention/check, hazardous weather and more.
 
Canal Classroom Corps Team at the Great Falls Overlook
Canal Classroom Corps Great Falls Training 2015

NPS Photo

Eligibility

Canal Classroom Corps Teachers must hold a current certificate in elementary or secondary education and/or have ample experience teaching, substitute teaching, or working with PreK-12 students in a school and/or outdoor environment. All applicants must provide a current resume with 3 professional references, participate in an interview with the park's Education Program Coordinator, and pass a stringent federal background check for working with minors.
Upon completion of the application process, a Canal Classroom Corps candidate will participate in summer training for the upcoming school year. In addition to learning about the curriculum programs, Canal Classroom Corps Teachers must successfully complete National Park Service Safety Training program, Operational Leadership, and hold a current certification in CPR and First Aid.
 
 

Questions?

Please contact the Canal Classrooms Education Team at cocanaleducation@nps.gov. We look forward to hearing from you!

Last updated: March 30, 2021

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142 W. Potomac St.
Williamsport, MD 21795

Phone:

301-739-4200

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