Teachers become students in TVA program

GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. -- Teachers from across the entire Tennessee Valley got a lesson outside the classroom that they can bring back to the students.

Out on Lake Guntersville Thursday morning, instead of being the teachers, a group of educators took on the role as students. "We are really trying to get teachers out to just expose them to the amazing diversity of species and the amazing ecology that we have right here in our own backyard," explained  TVA Lead Aquatic Plant Biologist Brett Hartis.

They can bring that back to their students.

The Tennessee Valley Authority put on this selective, multi-day session that gets teachers hands on. "Our goal here is to not only spread the message of not only what TVA does in terms of natural resource management, but what all of our agencies do that we collaborate with, and make them be able to take that back to the classroom," Hartis said.  The teachers get materials to use in their curriculum to help push these lessons further.

Educators also learn what else the Tennessee Valley Authority does, and so they can take that knowledge back to the classroom to teach the kids what career options are available at home.

"I've always been a big believer in as a teacher, I think it's important to understand my ecosystem and teach the kids about Alabama," explained Douglas Middle School teacher Laurie Biddle.

Getting up close and personal with North Alabama's nature will help teachers give their students a whole new focus on just what's in front of them in their own backyard.