Teacher Fellowship Program - Dare to Dream


The Down to Earth Expeditions Teacher Fellowship Program seeks to attract committed, inspiring, and determined teachers. We work with experienced teachers who already approach learning experientially and those who are seeking the opportunity to expand beyond the book.  

Our educational expeditions:

  • allow for hands-on problem solving, leadership, and learning how to inspire future generations on combating the environmental crisis through hope.  

  • *offer a unique approach with our educational models through sense of place curriculum. 

We know that Climate Change curriculum can feel abstract, therefore taking the time to get to know how the region is effected before teaching about concepts is crucial. Our expeditions allow for that time - many hours being within the landscape, time for reflections, and creating lasting connections.

Our Staff on Program

When you arrive in the Arctic you will be greeted by 3-4 Leadership Staff members who will bring you on your journey. These staff members will have a wide range of experience to ensure safety on program and educational development. These staff members have had the opportunity to work with students within our age bracket, spent many days out on expeditions all over the world, have a keen appreciation to protecting and preserving wild places, and ultimately want your growth as a teacher to be ignited. 

Our Program 

You will fly into the remote village of Anaktuvuk Pass, Alaska for your educational expedition. You will spend a few days in town where you will learn as a fellowship team how to create an emotional and physically safe environment for group travel in the Alaska Backcountry before embarking into the wild. You will spend time getting to know your gear, the leadership team, your mentors, and your fellow peers. 

On expedition we will spend every other day traveling. On days of travel the group will be divided into roles to gain insight on how to lead, instruct, and support fellow teammates on program. On days of rest, we will dive into our Explorer’s Project. 

As a teacher you will have opportunities to hone skills teaching in front of fellow teachers. receiving quality feedback, improving your environmental curriculum through direct experience, and gain a sense of place, self, and community within an Arctic environment.

Along the way, you will encounter hundreds of natural wonders, including arctic terns soaring overhead, meandering streams of crystal clear waters, ptarmigan running through the willows, and with a dash of hope a large herd of caribou grazing in the distance. 

After the 12-14 day expedition you will be joined by 8-10 eager 6th grade students waiting to be inspired. You will lead them in a fun, engaging, and academic “Explorer’s Project”. It will be designed by Down to Earth Expeditions and then brought to life by you. You will work directly with students at a base-camp explorers program during the day, mentoring, and bringing to life curriculum through an experiential way. 

Down to Earth Expeditions Leadership staff will help you create a fun, engaging and safe atmosphere for these students to have an amazing time. The leadership staff will take over in late afternoons and evenings to give you a break to recuperate, reflect and delve into feedback after a day of teaching, to run successful days that follow. 

 Outcomes

This program will introduce or complement the ideas of leadership, character development, and environmental stewardship. You will initiate development/ strengthen these skills in our program and continue to grow upon your return home. 

Instructors will work to challenge you to try new things and step outside what has been comfortable. We hope you, as teachers, come to learn that ultimately, there is no difference between "their world" and "our world.” 

Climate change in the Arctic threatens communities there and elsewhere - we are building connections so ALL people can work together across geographical and cultural divides to address environmental threats. 

First Time

For some of the Teacher Fellows, DTE may be your first expedition and likely first time to the Arctic. We want you to be aware that, the staff of DTE is there to support you in gaining the necessary skills to feel successful in a remote backcountry environment. DTE staff is also trained in Wilderness First Responder and/or EMT to address emergencies. 

The staff also goes through staff training prior to the expedition and will show you safety procedures before embarking. We practice a challenge-by-choice atmosphere, where if at any point within our expedition you are feeling uncomfortable you may come and speak to an instructor to vocalize your needs. 


Example Trip Itinerary  - Supposed lengths are 22-30 day programs

0-3 Travel to Arctic and getting to know Educator team and Staff of DTE 

3- 16 - Education Teacher Expedition 

16- 18 - Debrief and De- Issue and get Ready for students to arrive

19- 26  - Work with Students during formal lesson hours, staff of DTE takes care of students during after school hours to dinner and bed. *dependent on location - Teachers will have breaks in the evenings to go take time away from group. 

27-29 - Debrief Entire trip, wrap up lesson plans, depart 


Are you interested in joining a Teacher Fellowship Program?

Eligibility

As an organization, we require no prior wilderness experience. However, we do require you work within a teaching community; whether outdoor education, environmental education, or formal teaching within a school or district. 

Teachers on program will be required to wear a backpack that is proportional to their weight, which could range from 45-65 lbs.  We will work with you to stay as comfortable as possible on course, and that starts with being in shape for this program. We encourage teachers to apply who are willing to learn, explore in an Arctic environment, and excited to be challenged. 

  • The Experience: is a tuition-free program.  You will be responsible for travel to the Arctic location, personal gear (a list will be provided), and any personal items you may need.

  • Diversity of backgrounds: a range of racial, ethnic, cultural, economic, family, and geographic backgrounds is important to us.

We are looking for you! 

Down to Earth Expeditions combines climate science, curiosity, and wilderness exploration. We are looking for teachers who want to tell their story and are open to connecting to other teachers. Our application process is to learn about who you are as a person, what intrigues you, what you think is fun and engaging. Down to Earth Expeditions chooses teachers who dare to dream.

  • 3 + years of teaching experience with elementary and or middle school aged students (outdoor education, classroom, environmental education)

  • 2 + years of working in different cultural environments

  • Ability to write lesson plans using the Expeditionary Learning Template

  • Knowledge and use of Next Generation Science Standards

  • Familiarity with Google docs, drive, numbers, etc.

  • Undergraduate Degree from an accredited University or College

  • Being able to lift 40-70 lbs

  • Being flexible and adaptive to unseen circumstances

  • Personal qualities of integrity, credibility, and a passion for improving the lives of self, fellow teachers, and students


Expectations as an Educator on Program 

  • Teachers are required to pre-write and create 3 lesson plans using Next Generation Science Standards that align with the years DTE project in that Arctic Region. Lesson plans can be modified during program

  • Teachers will be filmed teaching lesson plans

  • Teachers will work together on a set "Environmental Climate Project"

  • Teachers will be expected to use social media channels to share project

  • Teachers are expected to share their experience at their school and or community via slideshow