Kayaking George L Smith State Park

In Cook Den: Advanced Training for Environmental Educators

I’ve decided to get in the habit of writing daily. I don’t really care about topic at this point. So, I may ramble a bit. “In Cook Den,” is just raw writing for the purpose of writing something.

I haven’t written much for the blog this year because I’ve been exceptionally busy. I travel and write regularly for Explore Georgia. I completed my second year into earning a BS in Environmental Science. I am an independent study project away from achieving my certification in Georgia’s Advanced Training for Environmental Educators (ATEEG). Those three simple sentences don’t do justice to the amount of work involved and the blog falls by the wayside. I use up all my writing and inspiration creating content for Explore Georgia. I just don’t have anything left for myself.

Project Wild certification
My Project WILD certificate – one component of earning ATEEG certification

I keep thinking once my ATEEG certification is complete, I’ll have tons of fantastic environmental ed material I can post. I’m an idea person and there’s a whirlwind in my mind. But, I’m uncomfortable releasing it until I’m certain that I’m producing respectable, high-quality material. Designed to elevate formal and non-formal environmental educators to a higher level of environmental awareness, the ATEEG course provides further instructional techniques, and teaches environmental program development and assessment. Participants attend three weekend workshops, pass an environmental science test, read & summarize an environmental book, improve an existing environmental lesson, attend 30 hours of specialized workshops, and complete an independent study project with the skills they learn from the class.

I attended the course with many intelligent, talented, inspiring educators from schools and nature centers across the state. It is a brilliant and challenging experience. Learning the ins and outs of program development & assessment, the various learning styles & instructional techniques, and the many requirements & guidelines instilled in me a great respect for these dedicated individuals that taught and attended the course.

For me, the certification is just another puzzle piece sitting on the table with a bunch of others. There’s no image on the front of the box… there’s no box. It’s just me picking up random pieces that I find lying around, hoping that one day I’ll be able to fit them all together, somehow.. some way. Sometimes, two pieces slide together in a way that gives me a glimpse of what could be coming.. But, really.. it’s a mystery.. I don’t know what the hell I’m doing. I never really have.

Leave a Reply