I know that teachers have a lot to juggle. When it comes to reading, you know things can get complicated. Kids simply need more time to read, and they need reading materials that are interesting and enjoyable. Every issue of Explorer magazine is packed with engaging nonfiction content and stunning images—the kind that you expect from National Geographic. Explorer magazine invites kids to be explorers … Continue reading Reading is Fun! by Stephanie Harvey
Shannon Switzer is an award-winning writer, photographer, and National Geographic Young Explorer whose work focuses on ocean conservation.
The wave picked me up and slammed me into the sand again. Earlier, I had walked a mile down the beach until I could find a location where I knew there would be a sandy bottom and no jagged rocks. Now, I was grateful I’d taken that precaution as I pulled my head above water, pointed my board toward the horizon, paddled to the outside past the breaking waves, and tried to catch another. I was two weeks into my self-imposed surf instruction at Sands Beach in Goleta, California. I had dabbled with surfing in high school, but as I was about to begin my junior year of college, I became determined to learn. While I hadn’t been rewarded with any great rides yet, I had already spent many afternoons in the ocean floating among the kelp beds and watching daredevil pelicans swoop and dive-bomb. I was hooked.
The ocean has been my favorite teacher since I was a little girl, ever since my dad brought me with him on sailing and free diving trips to Catalina Island. It’s constantly inspiring in me wonder, fear, discovery, and bliss. My heart still races when I dive down meters below the surface and rub shoulders with inquisitive sea lions and skittish reef sharks, or when I’m waiting in the lineup to catch a wave and a pod of dolphins cruises past.