Environmental Education: Real Job Experience

school bus

By Abigail Petersen:

When I first heard about the Environmental Education Field Course, I was a sophomore in NRES. I was excited because I felt like education was going to be my true calling in the field of environmental science and I wanted to “test it out” and see if those thoughts were right. With the task of teaching an after-school Environmental Science club for 4th and 5th graders, the course was excellent. I found my calling and a summer job out of the experience. The course is unique because it has a remote instructor, an in-person instructor, and undergraduate teaching assistants (TAs) running the course. This unique myriad of individuals allows for a broad range of experiences to be shared as well as offering real preparation for future careers.

I decided that my junior year, I wanted to be one of the TAs for the course and emailed the course instructor. After her review of my resume, I was chosen to be one of the TAs, and I was able to further my knowledge in education by having the privilege of offering my experience to my peers. My first year was great, and I had the opportunity to create an example lesson plan for the students, teach a class on logic models, and offer my advice and experience when I could. Now in my second year of TAing this course, my responsibilities have increased, but I am excited for the new challenge as well as working with the kids at the elementary schools while sharing my passion.