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

10 Self-Care Tips From My Busy Life as a Youth Leader

Sanah Jivani, a member of the #GenGeo community, wrote this post. Cultivating a practice of self-care can be a powerful tool for youth leaders to stay grounded in their work. What better time to start than now, during Mental Health Awareness Month? I learned the importance of self-care beginning in middle school, when my hair fell out suddenly and I was diagnosed with alopecia universalis, … Continue reading 10 Self-Care Tips From My Busy Life as a Youth Leader

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

Archival image of 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre

Revisit History in Our Virtual Field Trip

Our history is made up of stories, but there are stories from our past that have been silenced—sometimes for centuries. In order to fully understand our present, we must reckon with our past. The National Geographic Virtual Field Trip: Revisiting History focused on difficult but critical moments in history, specifically the systemic racism against Black communities in the United States. Originally airing on June 9, … Continue reading Revisit History in Our Virtual Field Trip

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