Now in its 15th year, Forest Park Forever's Voyage of Learning Teachers' Academy is a summer program for St. Louis teachers that builds meaningful connections between students, teachers, the Voyager institutions and cultural institutions in Forest Park. Throughout eight days of intensive professional development programming here in the Park, our instructional team and partners emphasize knowledge, skills and resources essential to effective experiential education, with the ultimate goal of encouraging teachers to utilize Forest Park as a natural extension of the classroom.
As this summer's program wrapped up with a special graduation ceremony a few weeks ago, teachers offered up their thoughts on the experience. Here are some of our favorite quotes:
- "I told every teacher at my school, 'You have to do this program.'”
- “This is like summer camp for adults.”
- “A lot of people talk about interdisciplinary programs, but rarely is it demonstrated so effectively.”
- “This is the best professional development program I’ve been a part of in all my years of teaching.”
- “I’ve been to Forest Park many times, but I’ve now seen a lot of new parts that I hadn’t known anything about.”
- “Teachers are treated like royalty.”
- “Rarely do you get to spend so much time with your colleagues where you think about HOW you want to teach.”
- “This was eye-opening and rejuvenating."
- “I found so many things that I can integrate into my classroom, so my little ones can be the ‘little explorers’ they so want to be.”
- “Such a great benefit. It means so much to me — and to my principal.”
- “I found great camaraderie across schools. I’ve been thinking of ways my class can collaborate with kids taught by other Voyagers.”
- “This rekindled the way I want to educate my students.”
- “I feel like we’ve gotten so data-driven. But we’re not going to ‘Hurry up and learn.’ We’re going to slow down, and experience. And I’m going to take that back to my kids. I’m asking myself, 'How can I really dive more deeply into their learning?'"
Know a teacher who'd love this program as much as these educators did? Let them know about it today.