Slow Down… Explore!

Anyone can be an explorer and can notice interesting things about the world around them. You do not have to go somewhere far away or exotic, you just have to be curious and spend time looking. In today’s environment, a lot of people feel uncomfortable spending unstructured time outside and need help figuring out how to slow down. I worked with my teen volunteering group, the Green Teens, to explore this concept and come up with ways for parents to support their kids in spending time together outside. All of the activities that we developed together were posted on the Museum’s social media sites for parents to use. Families did not need to have access to a backyard or any sort of complicated materials.  Continue reading Slow Down… Explore!

Creating space to explore identity with students

This post was written by California educator Jorge Pacheco Jr.  I’ve always known that I was different. When I started kindergarten, I learned pretty quickly that school wasn’t the place for me. I was classified as an English learner and a special education student and a lot of stigma came from those labels. After the first day of kindergarten, when my dad came to pick … Continue reading Creating space to explore identity with students

Teaching is an Act of Poetry

I want you to take a moment to see that every inch of what you have done this year as an educator and as a learner, as a human being, is already an act of poetry. When you have engaged in science and geography learning, espousing the Explorer Mindset through curiosity, observation and collaboration, you have been an act of poetry asking others to exchange with you and with each other their unique experiences. When you have asked them to study the history of those who came before them, to explore ancient civilizations and understand the human journey, they connect themselves to the wind and the tastes and the smells and the feeling of being in those moments, in the poetry of the bones of those who came before us. When you ask them to solve math problems and calculate the physics of how our shared planet operates, when you humanize numerical interactions, you are asking them to feel that sense of meaningful struggle and discovery and seeking out ways to understand things with universal connective tissues.  Continue reading Teaching is an Act of Poetry

Gosei as an Identity Marker

My intersectional identity as a female of Japanese descent also reminds me of the deep-seated settler intonations when I stand at the front of a classroom, knowing that over 25% of all teachers statewide are Japanese, while only 9% of students are. Data are inverted for the Native Hawaiian or Part Hawaiian representation at 10% of teachers and 25% of the total student population. The percent of Asian teachers nationwide pales at 2.1%, suggesting a microcosmic experience of overrepresentation in Hawaiʻi, but retaining an extremely minoritized status in the United States. Continue reading Gosei as an Identity Marker

Why we are collecting #BothAndStories from educators this week

At National Geographic, our mission is centered on storytelling and education, as well as science and exploration. As a year like no other begins to wind down, we are creating a space for educators to share their stories via an interactive story map. The name Both/And stems from the tensions this last year brought to so many of us – strength and struggle, hope and healing. We know this has been especially true for educators who have been on the frontlines of the pandemic. We’ve seen you work tirelessly to support your students and school communities, and we are humbled to share our platform with you to document this moment. We’ve also timed this project with Teacher Appreciation Week here in the US, because the best way to show our appreciation is to honor your stories and invite others to read and reflect on them. Continue reading Why we are collecting #BothAndStories from educators this week