Three finalists have been announced for the 2012 Maine Teacher of the Year award. They are Ingrid Stressenger, a 4th grade teacher at Pond Cove School in Cape Elizabeth; Tim Eisenhart, a 9th grade mathematics teacher at Westbrook High School; and Alana Margeson, a 10-11th grade English teacher at Caribou High School. Ingrid Stressenger is a member of the Natural Teachers Network on C&NN Connect.
Stressenger is in her sixth year of taking students to a local forest for environmental learning three times a year, a program she says promotes science learning as well as stewardship. As part of her presentation for the award, Stressenger recorded her students relating why they find outdoor spaces more memorable than indoor spaces.
Clips of Camilla Rockwell’s film Mother Nature’s Child, which explores nature’s powerful role in children’s health and development, and includes C&NN Founding Chair Richard Louv, among many others, were also used to bolster Ingrid Stressenger’s nomination and selection as a Teacher of the Year finalist.
Play Again, another film that supports the children and nature movement, is also involved in Maine education. Meg Merrill and the filmmakers of Play Again received a grant from the Quimby Family Foundation for the Maine Educational Outreach Campaign. Play Again explores the changing balance between the virtual and natural worlds by “unplugging” a group of teenagers and taking them on a wilderness adventure. The film also includes Richard Louv and C&NN’s Brother Yusuf Burgess, among others.