So you want to work for T.R.E.E.’s overnight programs?


To have some idea of what you’re getting yourself into, read on!

T.R.E.E., Teaching Responsible Earth Education, has been teaching 4th, 5th and 7th graders about the Earth in a place where they can touch it, at an age where they get it – and in a way they remember, since 1995.

T.R.E.E. offers 2 overnight programs:

Sunship EarthTM for 5th graders: 5 day/4 night overnight experience.  A class of 5th grade students (35 or fewer) come from the New Orleans area with their classroom teacher and 5 parents/other adult chaperones, to our outdoor classroom in Covington, LA.

Sunship IIITM for 7th graders: 3 day/2 night overnight experience.  Similar arrangement to 5th grade program listed above, but entirely different curriculum.

Your role as Earth Educator:

This is not summer camp!  Your job as a staff educator for both of these programs is to teach solid life science to these students.  Our curriculum is strenuous and interesting and meets LA state curriculum requirements in science and language arts.

Primarily, you are a teacher.  The curriculum has already been written (hooray! No lesson planning).  You are responsible for learning the ‘script’ – for that’s the extent to which these lessons have been tweaked and perfected.  You must know your part and then teach it, so that the kids get it!  Additionally, you’re responsible for managing behavior and guiding the adults accompanying the students so that they are most effective.

You will be very well trained and incredibly well supported.  The nature of this demanding work requires that all of the staff work very closely and cohesively together.  We depend on each other and support one another.  And it works.  To work at T.R.E.E. you must be a team player – in that you give your best, expect the best of others and are willing to do what it takes to make both of those realities happen.

In addition to teaching science-based stations in the woods, you are ‘on’ from when you rise early in the morning until you go to bed (later than you’d like).  At meals you may need to help serve food and wipe tables, in addition to eating with the kids and then jump up after the meal to lead a post-meal activity.  At all times of the day, in all activities we maintain the same expectation for behavior from the kids.  Staff must have consistent expectations for behavior of the kids – again, ample training for this is provided.  At night T.R.E.E. staff members make the students feel comfortable by getting them ready for bed and in the mornings we wake them again.

A TYPICAL DAY WITH STUDENTS MAY INVOLVE:

  • Helping students feel comfortable touching the earth by crawling on your hands and knees, lying down, and participating in fun yet structured lessons
  • Teaching a 30-35 minute activity through creative acting while following a well structured script
  • Constant monitoring of students for behavior and discipline all the time – yes, we know that’s redundant!
  • Exploring the woods off the trail
  • Setting up your station and taking it down, independently, in an expeditious manner – may involve lifting, hammering, wheel barrowing and other physical tasks
  • Giving directions to other adults
  • Walking with kids at night in the woods
  • Guiding students as they make discoveries and helping them answer their own questions; facilitating, so that students creatively solve problems for themselves
  • Waking up early to be on duty at 7am
  • Leading an assigned post-meal activity
  • Taking children (sometimes) to the bathroom in the woods
  • Teaching a song
  • Sitting at a campfire and roasting marshmallows with kids while monitoring for safety
  • Putting kids to bed: ensuring they are comfortable, have enough blankets, etc.
  • Maintaining a pleasant disposition even after 4 days of little rest and lots of work
  • Leading by example for all we teach

And, of course, smiling (genuinely) while completing all of these activities in the rain, heat, cold, mosquitoes and unexpected turns of events!

If all of this sounds like a lot, it is.  And, the rewards of working so long and hard: incredible!  For many of the students, this is their first time spending time in the woods, their first time away from home for such a long duration, their first exposure to many things.  Introducing kids to new places, new ideas, new science, and new experiences is thrilling.  Kids who have a hard time in a traditional classroom often thrive in this setting and thereby discover the joy of learning.  And the students, though they are demanding, give you energy with their boundless depths of creativity, ingenuity, cleverness, silliness and love of life.  The demands and the rewards are both high.

 

My child has become conscious about his use of water and electricity and is more knowledgeable overall.

Dibert Parent

 

 

 

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Donation Total: $25.00

PROGRAMS

Lost TreasuresLost Treasures
a full academic year program taught weekly in the classroom for third grade and on into fourth grade
Earth KeepersEarthkeepers
a three-day Outdoor Classroom program for fourth grade
Sunship EarthSunship Earth
a five-day/four-night Outdoor Classroom residential program for fifth grade
Sunship 3Sunship III
a three-day/two-night Outdoor Classroom residential program for seventh grade