Teaching Outside the Box Conference, Denver CO

Outside the box conference logo

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to join others in education, outdoor recreation, non-profits, State departments and some representatives from Federal agencies in gathering together for a conference on environmental education. The conference was held at Denver University, just off of I-25 (super easy to get to).

I had heard about this conference through a listserv email from the Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education or CAEEColorado Alliance for Environmental Education

I get an email about every week – sometimes more- of job openings, volunteer positions, events going on within the state, educational opportunities etc. This conference sounded like something I would like to go to (and it is on my 30 by 30 list).

I only registered for one day, Saturday, since the fee to go was coming out-of-pocket for me. Some parts of me wished I had taken Friday off from work and paid for the entire conference because there were so many sessions that looked really good. But alas…

I left Saturday morning about 6:45 and got to DU by 7:30 – WAY earlier than I expected. I had given myself extra time because a. I have never driven to Denver, b. I had no idea if DU was a big campus, and c. if the weather was bad I wanted extra time. The conference provided light refreshments and coffee/tea in the morning and I spent some time looking among the booths set up until the first session started.

From 8:45- 11:45 I originally was going to attend the session on looking at climate change in Colorado using a tree presented by The Pike’s Peak Pebble Pups but while I was looking at the exhibitor booths, one of the other conference attendees told me about a session Shawna Crocker was putting one. Shawna is the state’s coordinator for Project Learning Tree. While PLT has plans from pre-K to grade 8, more  recently material has come out specifically for preschoolers and their teachers.

Project Leanring Tree logo

I learned so much from the three hour class. I got the PLT book for Early Childhood Educators, the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) Early Childhood Guidelines resource book, tons of resource ideas and websites to glean from and a certificate stating I successfully completed the workshop. It was such a fun class!

After a good lunch provided by Quiznos I launched into the afternoon sessions. All of the ones I went to were an hour in length but there were others that were longer. The first was on the process of building my professional portfolio and applying for ‘official’ “recognizable” certification within the State of Colorado. The  last session I attended held a panel of people whom either worked for non-profits or for departments within the state. This session was specifically to answer questions of resume building and how to sail through an interview. It was very helpful and a popular class. I wish it had been longer in length. One hour just isn’t enough time to get through everything.

I am so glad I was able to go, meet new people and learn about resources I didn’t know about. I am hoping that I can apply the PLT information to the preschool classroom I am currently in as well as use the helpful resume tips to overhaul my current resume and get my foot in the environmental education door so-to-speak. I am excited for this upcoming year!


Anything exciting happening in your career/life? What steps are you taking to make those goals & dreams happen?


About C.Skinner

I am a military spouse and I am excited to travel! I love to find adventure; am trying to be more creative; this year my intention is to live a better, fuller life.
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