Past participants share their insight into personal and professional outcomes of this Permaculture Educator Training.
Charlie Laurel East Dummerston, Vermon
"Since taking the Permaculture Teachers Training course two years ago I have been teaching community college classes in sustainability studies at Greenfield Community College in Mass. and, starting this Fall, at community College of Vermont in Brattleboro.
The PCTT has greatly enhanced my approach to teaching classes such as Human Ecology which looks at big picture questions of culture/nature relations, and more technical classes like Green Building Design Applications. I use permaculture design practices in course development and I use many of the educational techniques that I derived from the PCCT. In teaching Human Ecology: Problems and Solutions, I offer permaculture principles and practices as a framework for solutions before we start talking about problems.
The PCTT reinforced for me the importance of process; how we do things is just as important (maybe more so) than what we do. The group experiences that I had with the PCTT now influence how I facilitate group projects with my students. And the feedback from them is overwhelmingly favorable. While the basic Permaculture Design Course that I took several years ago got me oriented to good design practice, it was the PCTT that inspired me to make my teaching work more experiential, more fun, more holistic, and more community oriented.
I think that any educator who is interested in linking their disciplines to the greater work of moving our culture toward sustainability would do well to take a PCTT with Dave Jacke & Co. I also think that people who have taken a Permaculture Design Course and have been practicing permaculture techniques may find the impetus to expand their endeavors into teaching through taking the PCTT."
Adam Brock Denver, CO
"The PCTT course instilled me with a powerful understanding of the responsibilities and potential of facilitation. It gave me the confidence to think of myself as a teacher, and the prudence to acknowledge that I am a constant student, as well. Perhaps most importantly, it left me with a powerful sense of how to evaluate and continually improve my capacities as a permaculture facilitator.
Since completing the Teacher Training course, I've facilitated about ten permaculture-related events, most in the 2-3 hour range.
These have included:
- Hosting a monthly series of interactive events for Transition Denver around topics such as community economics, water farming, and bioregionalism
- A "Permaculture at the Home Scale" workshop and potluck at my house
- A 2-hour Urban Permaculture module at the Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute's PDC
- A session on Transition at a conference of local neighborhood leaders
- Several PC 101 workshops outlining the principles and patterns of permaculture and their applications in an urban environment
The participant feedback from these events has been uniformly positive (although not without some helpful advice). This fall, I'll be starting to teach half- and full-day permaculture workshops at venues such as the Denver Botanic Gardens and the new Denver Urban Homesteading center."
Monica Ibacache New York, NY
"I went in wary to the training, wary because I was not sure that I had enough permaculture experience and I realized I was not alone. I left the training empowered, confident and possessing a tangible permaculture educational toolbox. Absolutely Fantastic!
I have done many, many trainings and this was definitely top of the list! It was transformational for me as a student, teacher, and a whole person.
I began my position as Permaculture Education and Resource Coordinator March 2009, shortly after the course. I manage the annual garden and am creating community education boards. I have recruited work/study participants, created and facilitated hands on permaculture education for them.
We have a permaculture presentation planned for September 2009 with NYC non profit New Energy Choices . We are excited to see how we can collaborate with this non profit that focuses on sustainable energy and sustainable food.
My colleague Alice Lo and I are in the early stages of collaboration with an U.S./Indian non profit called Lend a Hand India. . We are currently writing a proposal for a pilot permaculture education component to be added to their current vocational education project in India. The proposal will be presented in the fall to the United Nations Development Fund for funding.
I am incredibly excited about my future as an educator and designer! I have much to learn and it is beautiful!
I owe a lot of it to Dave Jacke and the teaching staff of Teaching Permaculture Creatively... I not only received encouragement and teaching tools, I became more deeply connected to the larger permaculture community from which I draw great strength."
Sam Dunlap Cincinnati, OH
"I've been thinking a lot about what the teacher training has meant to me over the last several months. I have been revisiting some of my 'strikes' and they all seemed to do with the application of permaculture to our inner realms. The 'ol zone 00. Unlearning was also a huge theme for me, mostly unlearning old ways of thinking and deconstructing belief systems that maintain old patterns. This is what has continued to stay with me since the course and as I reflect on it now, I can see how important the course has been for shaping decisions I have made since. I have become a full-fledged believer in pushing my edge as a catalyst for growth and of the fact that learning is greatly enhanced by teaching.
One of the interests that I have had in permaculture is working with people who are not often exposed to permaculture. To follow this edge I just accepted an Americorps position that involves working with behaviorally-challenged kids at a community school in Cincinnati. I will have the opportunity to do some mentoring work with a group of students and I plan to incorporate a ton of ideas from the inner permaculture aspect of the course, incorporating this with hands-on experience to reinforce the lessons. This is a huge edge for me and the PCTT definitely spurred me to go for it.
On other teaching fronts, so far I have given one public talk on permaculture that will develop into a forest gardening class this fall. The goal is to plant a demonstration garden at the community center in my home town. I also collaborated with a Cincinnati fella this spring to offer a weekend intro to PC course. I plan on expanding on these efforts, but my energies are going to be focused more on the Americorps thing for a while.
In short, the training gave me a whole new approach to my life. It helped me realize that I am constantly designing my life and that I can be much more intentional in the process. So that is where my path stretches at the moment and what I want to explore more as a teacher and practitioner of permaculture. Thinking of my edge as a place of maximal growth has made me really excited to explore it way more. Thank you so much to all."