June 14, 2017

Educator Workshop: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

"Hi Kristen,
I am interested in learning more about the Missouri River, and would like to attend your workshop, but I don’t know if I have the time or money to do so. My question is, can I register for just part of the workshop? And are there any financial aid awards you offer to attend the workshop? 
Thanks in advance,
Joe Six-Pack"

Hi Joe,
Nice to hear from you! I believe I can answer your question in full. To be inclusive of different schedules and interests, we have created the option of participating in one day or both days of our workshop. However, to maximize the benefits of this workshop, we highly encourage participants to register for both days, as each day brings a unique experience. Each day includes lunch, instruction, materials, and supplies. Specifically, on the first day, an on-the-river experience by motorboat will be included. For a complete breakdown of the tuition costs, please refer our website page titled, “Integrating the Missouri River into Your Classroom”. We’d love to see you for both days of the workshop, but at River Relief, we believe some time is better than no time, so make sure to contact us prior to registering to ensure that we can best fit your needs. 
Next, I’d like to respond to your question about financial aid… We have it! The amount of aid we have to provide will vary based on the year that we are doing the workshop, but River Relief is proud to offer a select number of participants in need the opportunity to attend our workshops at little to no cost. Applications for financial aid can be found on our website riverrelief.org as well as deadlines, registration information, and program schedules. Our financial aid is offered on a first-come, first-serve basis, so make sure to stay up to date on deadlines and other application news by subscribing to our online mailing list.
Hope this helps, Joe, and we’ll see you on the river!
Best regards,
"Hi Kristen,
I’d like to know more about the actual content of the workshop. That is, what is it, specifically, that I will be able to take away from attending?
Jane Doe"

Hello Jane,
Thanks for reaching out to us! Short answer: TONS of information about the ‘Mighty Mo’, as well as ways to develop and implement this information into your curriculum. Long answer: I don’t want to spoil all the surprises, but we will spend roughly half our time on the river, learning about the historical significance of the area, geographical information, and how artificial and natural processes have changed the river. 
The second half of the workshop will be spent indoors, exploring the various ways that students learn. Specific attention will be directed towards promoting student discussion and observation, as well as strategies for successful question-building. Popular learning theories in the field will be considered and applied through participant activities, such as games and partner exercises.  In addition, each educator will be asked to bring a lesson plan that they currently teach and feel they could connect to the Missouri River. During the workshop, educators will have the opportunity to adapt and design their lesson plans and present out to their fellow workshop participants.  
More information can be found on our website riverrelief.org including financial aid applications and deadlines, registration information, and program schedules. I hope to see you at the next workshop. We promise you won’t leave empty handed! 
All the best,
"Hello Kristen,
Your workshop looks like a lot of fun (and educational!) but I teach in an informal setting and am unsure of how much practical use I’ll be able to gain from the workshop in my specific field. My question to you: 
Is the workshop designed for just formal educators, or does it cater to informal educators as well?
Michael Scott"

Hi Michael,
Great question! We design our workshops with both formal and informal educators in mind. For those coming from a formal teaching setting, we discuss information that can be readily converted to the classroom and will comply with Next Generation Science Standards. While this can be useful information for all educators, we also include various outdoor activities that informal educators may be more comfortable with using in their own work setting. On day two of the workshop, specific focus will be given to teaching outdoors, where we discuss activities from day one in the context of instructional strategies and methodology.
On a more tangible level, the Missouri River lesson plan that participants develop during the workshop is not restricted to be informal or formal; rather, we encourage educators to craft their lesson plan in a way that will best fit their situation. In sum, we don’t choose one setting or the other; our workshop will offer pieces that both formal and informal educators will be able to obtain practical use from. 
I hope this gives you a better understanding of what our workshops are all about, and make sure to stay up to date on all of our programs by subscribing to our e-newsletter at riverrelief.org
See you on the river!

I don’t have a lot of training in environmental education, but I’ve been hearing great things about your workshops, and after reading about them on your website, I have developed quite an interest in attending one. My question to you is rather open-ended, but with my lack of experience, it is of significance to me. Can you explain to me why is it important to learn and know about the Missouri River? 
I don’t mean to sound confrontational, I just am new to this topic, so I’d like to get a broader knowledge base.
Thank you,
Saul Goodman"

Hi Saul,
Not confrontational at all. In fact, I get asked this question all the time! The Missouri River connects roughly 10 million people along its 600-mile path. Within this population, there lies many individual communities, each connected to the Big Muddy in different ways. Some communities rely on the river for drinking water; others use it to dispose of waste; and others use it just for recreation. These are just a few reasons, but to be clear, most river communities use the Mighty Mo for a combination of reasons, not just one.
In addition, information about the Missouri River can easily translate to lessons about rivers and waterways in general. For example, if you want to learn more about a local stream or river in your teaching area that you’d like to use in the classroom, this workshop would provide information and activities that would be adaptable to fit your selected body of water. 
Finally, the Missouri River offers a plethora of different wildlife and plants, and is a great example of how interconnectedness is a requisite component of any healthy ecosystem. 
Hopefully this gives you at least a glance into why all of us at River Relief dedicate our work to conserving this tremendous natural resource. For more information, make sure to check out our website riverrelief.org and sign up for our e-newsletter! 
For more information, check out the educator workshop page or contact Kristen at kristen@riverrelief.org

Stay Muddy!

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