For Tammy Maitland, classroom teaching didn’t quite fit. Something was missing. Her move into environmental education combined her passions in a satisfying career shift.
This month, our featured members are also the pilot candidates in our EE Certification Program. Applications are now open for our 2016-17 class of certified environmental educators. Read more and apply here.
Tammy grew up playing near the ocean and in the woods of Massachusetts. A self-described “mountain person,” she was drawn to the allure of a teacher intern program in Santa Fe. When her career as a 4th grade classroom teacher left her wanting more, she decided to combine her interest in social causes, love of the outdoors, and teaching skills for a new pursuit in environmental education.
Tammy is passionate about getting students outdoors for first-hand experience. “This is the best way to appreciate the environment and to care for it,” she says. As a child, her family instilled those values in her. She is motivated to create those same outdoor opportunities for her audiences, knowing that not every child would get them otherwise.
She currently works for the ABQ BioPark’s BioVan outreach program, but she has also worked with Hawks Aloft, Talking Talons and Manzano Day School’s Fenton Ranch. Tammy has monitored forest restoration programs with student groups, and she has inspired conservation action through live animal programs.
It’s no surprise that this tireless educator decided to work toward adding “EE Certified” to her long list of achievements.
Since Tammy studied formal teaching, she never took an environmental education course. She has enjoyed learning many new things during the certification process. Like others in the group, she found the history of environmental education particularly fascinating.
She encourages the next class of candidates to reach out to program leadership and make every effort to meet and connect as a group. She warns of time required to write the portfolio, but she also touts the benefits of setting time aside to explore the program’s different themes.
For Tammy, one of the major benefits of the EE Certification program has been the opportunity to connect with others in the field, especially her advisor. She refers to her new community as a support group—one which has been incredibly helpful to her.
Want to join Tammy and hundreds of other awesome members of the Environmental Education Association of New Mexico? (We’d love that!) Click over here to join our community today.