For over 30 years, the McKeever Environmental Learning Center has been dedicated to providing unique, rewarding, and fulfilling experiences for hundreds of university student teachers and international interns. Student teachers are an integral part of the McKeever staff and work with as many as 15 different school districts over an eight-week period.
Depending on the time of the year, you will be involved in teaching the Earthkeepers or Sunship Earth curriculum as well as one-day and in-school programs. Prior to teaching, student teachers receive extensive training. Along with student teachers from other PA State System Universities and local colleges, student teachers work closely as a team with McKeever’s Environmental Educators and staff. Student teachers are assigned a cooperating teacher from the McKeever Center and university supervisor from the respective university.
Placement at the McKeever Environmental Learning Center satisfies half of the student teaching requirements. The programs at this learning center merge conceptual and sensory activities that encourages children to enjoy learning. This experience provides our student teachers with opportunities to develop strong academic application and the freedom to identify their own teaching styles.
- Educate students in a non-traditional outdoor setting
- Gain Experience in working as a team player
- Work with students from diverse backgrounds
- Interact with teachers, parents and administrators from a wide range of school districts
- Participate in an earth education program that is recognized as one of the most effective in the world.
During your student teaching experience at the McKeever Center, you along with other student teachers live in our new house for student teachers. The majority of the programs are residential therefore it is important to live on site during the week. You may continue to stay at McKeever or depart on weekends since there are no weekend teaching responsibilities.
The housing consists of five (5) bedrooms with two (2) student teachers/interns sharing a room. Each bedroom has its own private bathroom. The house has a fully equipped kitchen, living and dining room. The kitchen has a refrigerator, stove, microwave, toaster, coffee maker and full place settings. There is a washer and dryer and computers with Internet access for your use.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to have a strong science background?
It’s not necessary. Everything you will need to know you’ll learn during the training session. However, an interest in ecology and the environment as well as a strong desire to teach children in an outdoor setting is essential.
What do I wear?
Clothes that will keep you warm and dry since you will be teaching outdoors most of the time. Nice looking, clean jeans and sweaters are appropriate.
Is McKeever like a camp?
McKeever is an educational center, not a recreational camp. Activities involve discovery of concepts related to the environment and do not include things such as archery, swimming and canoeing.
Do I have to stay at McKeever on the weekends?
Student teachers/interns are responsible for teaching Monday through Friday. You are not required to spend your weekend on site.
Who will I be working with?
You will be working with one of the Environmental Educators), your university supervisor and student teachers from/interns from other universities.
Is there a cost?
Housing, and 60% of your meals are provided at a nominal fee for 8 weeks. Student teachers/interns must also purchase the training manual.
Will I teach in the evening?
During the Earthkeepers and Sunship Earth programs, evening activities are part of the experience. However, student teachers/interns will not teach more than an eight-hour day. These hours will not necessarily be consecutive throughout the day.
Will I be living with elementary students?
No. Teachers and parents are responsible for the students at night. Student teachers/interns live on site, although their housing is separate from the elementary students.
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- PA State System of Higher Education Let a state system university be your answer.
- Pennsylvania Association of Environmental Educators PAEE unites, supports, and empowers a community of Environmental Educators throughout Pennsylvania.
- EnviroLink Network Non-profit organization providing access to thousands of online environmental resources.
- GreenTreks Network, Inc. Telling Stories that Change the World
- PA Fish and Boat Commission Protect, conserve, and enhance the Commonwealth’s aquatic resources and provide fishing and boating opportunities
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