Professional Learning

Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park offers an exceptional teacher professional development opportunity.  The Acadia Reacher Fellowship program has a particular focus on helping teachers improve science literacy and connect their students to Acadia National Park, the natural world, and the science that will help us understand and respond to rapid environmental change. 

A Summer Professional Development Opportunity: Acadia Teacher Fellowship Program

Imagine spending your summer hiking through spruce-fir forests, exploring tidepools, or sailing on clear waters in search of bald eagles, porpoises, and seals. Leave your classroom behind to do all this and more as a teacher fellow at Acadia National Park. The Acadia Teacher Fellowship connects classroom teachers to the rich cultural, natural, and recreational heritage protected by Acadia National Park. The National Park Service provides teacher fellows with uniforms and shared housing, if needed, as well as a $400 weekly stipend. A certificate of completion and continuing education hours are available.

What would I do in the park?

Teacher fellows become part of the park’s interpretation and education division. Duties vary, but each fellow is given the opportunity to engage with the public on programs or on the trail. At the park, teacher fellows spend time with trained interpreters, field researchers, protection rangers, resource management staff, and trail crews. They participate in a teacher institute and citizen science activities. Fellows are expected to work on an education project for the park and prepare a place-based lesson plan that will be used in their classrooms and posted on the park’s website.

Read a teacher’s perspective of the experience here.

What are the benefits?

To Teachers:

  • Obtain a wide range of new knowledge and skills through working with park staff and partners
  • Gain access to an extensive array of teaching resources and tools to enhance classroom curriculum in multiple content areas
  • Receive a certificate of completion and continuing education hours
  • Begin or deepen a personal and professional connection with national parks

To Schoolchildren:

  • Place-based learning
  • Opportunities and resources to connect to their natural and cultural heritage in new way
  • Awareness of the possibilities for volunteering and paid employment with the National Park Service

What is the time commitment?

Teachers are expected to commit to four to eight weeks between June and September. Local teachers may divide this time over the course of the year to meet the needs of teachers and the park.

Who is eligible?

The park accepts applications from all public K-12 teachers. Teachers from all disciplines are encouraged to apply.

What is expected of me after this program?

Teacher fellows will leave the park with the resources to develop tailored, curriculum-based units that help students better understand their natural and cultural heritage and the importance of shared stewardship.

Fellows are given the opportunity to take their classes to the nearest national park or other public land site. Transportation, entrance and program fees, and substitute teachers are paid for by a park partner. Teachers make the trip arrangements and report on the trip experience.

During National Park Week in April, teacher fellows wear their uniforms to school and present programs to introduce students and staff to the National Park Service and their own experiences at Acadia.

Teachers will be asked to explore the possibilities for creating or enhancing an outdoor classroom at their schools. This unique learning space will allow classes in all disciplines to link with and learn from the resources protected by Acadia National Park.

How can I learn more and apply?

The application period for 2019 fellowships has closed. To learn more, visit Acadia National Park’s Teacher Fellowship website.

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