"The study of geography is about more than just memorizing places on a map. It's about understanding the complexity of our world, appreciating the diversity of cultures that exists across continents. And in the end, it's about using all that knowledge to help bridge divides and bring people together."
Still catching my breath.........
It was February when I received a phone call from National Geographic telling me I had been selected as a 2015 National Geographic Grosvenor Teacher Fellow. I applied in December, and now am part of a class of 35 teachers from around the United States and Canada visiting places such as Antarctica, the British Maritimes, Iceland and the Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador. My trip is to the Galapagos in two days -- and I can't wait!
A little about the application process: Applicants had to write several short essays about the importance of geography in education, how they would share their experience with students and the community and what they believed their role was in preparing students to become better stewards of our world. More than 2,700 teachers applied for this program. One of the ways I plan to share my experience is through this blog.
This year, I am working with 6- to 9-year-olds in a Montessori elementary classroom, and it has been so much fun learning about the Galapagos with them! One of my favorite lessons thus far is tracking Charles Darwin's voyage using the globe and atlas to pinpoint the stops on the HMS Beagle's voyage. It was a huge rush to see students clustered around a globe and paging through atlases looking for points around the world -- like a geographical treasure hunt. Even before I have reached the Galapagos, I am amazed at how studying this one location can lead to so many diverse lessons on geology, biology, history, climatology ... you name it.