Why have Teachers in Parks?
National parks enrich the lives of many in this nation. They provide access to the powerful ideas, values, and meanings associated with the remarkable cultural, natural, and recreational heritage of the United States. The National Park Service (NPS) strives to provide opportunities for all Americans to connect to their national heritage through the national parks. However, these opportunities are lacking for some — often due to a variety of social and economic factors.
The Teacher to Ranger to Teacher (TRT) Program offers a solution, by linking National Park units with teachers from Title 1 (30% of students on free or reduced cost lunch) school districts. Teacher Rangers form a link between school children and National Parks.
What would I do?
Under TRT, selected teachers spend a summer working as uniformed park rangers, often living in the park. They perform various duties depending on their interests and the needs of the park, including developing and presenting interpretive programs for the general public, staffing the visitor center desk, developing curriculum-based materials for the park, or taking on educational projects.
Then, during the school year, these Teacher Rangers bring the park resources "into the classroom" by developing and presenting curriculum-based lesson plans that draw on their summer’s experience. In April, during National Park Week, Teacher Rangers discuss their summer as a park ranger, and engage students and other teachers in activities that relate to America’s national parks.
TRT is made possible through an Inter-governmental Personnel Act Agreement (IPA) between the public school district and the National Park Service. The TRT program began in 2003 and in 2007 became a national program. During the summer of 2008, parks nationwide had over 90 Teacher Rangers learning about America's national heritage and teaching park visitors about the natural and cultural resources of their park.
Which parks have TRT vacancies and how do I apply for TRT work?
Email to find out about current TRT opportunties.