Our family has long appreciated and supported the efforts of teachers to educate their young students on forestry and agriculture. Many children do not understand where their food or even paper comes from. It is vitally important that we educate the next generation on the importance of these industries to our country.
Teacher education programs have started to gain interest. A few we are familiar with are the Teachers Tour (Louisiana) and the Teacher Conservation Tour (Arkansas). Below are some comments from an elementary teacher that attended one of the programs on a scholarship that LandownerLegacy.com provided:
I very much enjoyed the program. I spent a whole week in the woods. Information I learned was taken back to the classroom and used and is still used when any subject matter relates. I even got to try to climb a tree, but didn’t get far off the ground. I saw how trees are taken to the wood yards and cut into lumber, made into particle board and paper. We planted new trees. Seeing the bald eagle’s nest was great.
This year in my class, we discussed natural resources in social studies. The students know that trees are a natural resource, and we discussed things that are made from trees. I talked about the things that I did and saw on the Teachers Tour. But these second graders wanted to argue with me when I tried to explain to them that it is a good thing to cut trees. After explaining that companies that cut these trees do replant so more trees will grow the conversation went in a different direction. Then I had an opportunity to talk about why cutting and replanting is good.
I was a bit concerned about attending because I was going by myself and did not know anyone else or anything about the program. I did receive professional development credits for attending, and yes I would definitely attend again if given the opportunity. I have suggested the program to other teachers because it would be a benefit to anyone and especially those that teach science.
If you would like more information on why our family is interested in supporting teacher participation in these programs, please contact me at email@example.com
If you want specific information in the programs mentioned in the two states, contact:
Whitney Wallace, Louisiana Office of Forestry
Rob Beadel, Arkansas Forestry Association