Monday, October 17, 2022

Educator Spotlight: Emily Davidson

Emily Davidson, a former teacher and IT professional who volunteers as an environmental educator, recently completed her NC Environmental Education Certification.

Emily was a classroom teacher before changing careers last year to work in IT. She continues to volunteer as an environmental educator.  

Emily says her favorite part of the certification program was the instructional workshops and being able to take advantage of all the environmental education facilities in North Carolina.

When asked about an experience in the program that stood out for her, Emily says it was the hands-on experiences. “Anything that was hands-on and in the field that I could bring back to my students. I took them on a field trip at Holmes Educational State Forest and they had an amazing time.”

For her community partnership project, Emily led a tree-planting event with her students and the organization, TreePlenish at her school. The students were part of a high school elective class at The Franklin School of Innovation called Eco-Warriors, which focused on climate change, particularly its effects on Appalachian ecology and communities. Community members also purchased and planted saplings.

Emily says the tree planting event was the culmination of several units she structured around the Project Learning Tree Southeastern Forests and Climate Change curriculum, and an educational field trip she led to Holmes State Educational Forest, Pisgah National Forest, and the Blue Ridge Parkway where students could experience and investigate managed forests in their area. “This was the capstone to our year-long class on climate change and forestry in North Carolina. This was an exciting and encouraging project for my students and it gave them a sense that they could do something tangible about climate change and urbanization in our community.”

Emily says the program changed her approach to teaching. “I learned to be much more patient with those who are uncomfortable or unfamiliar with the outdoors, and I learned a lot about other people’s perspectives and concerns about the environment.”

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