Undergoing the three stages to obtain National Geographic Educator Certification provided an experience to design and implement subsequent lessons in order to scaffold the learning of my students. The certification process enabled me to present various interconnected environmental issues in a manner that aligned with grade level standards and student maturity level. Participating in the certification process also provided countless resources available for educators of all grade levels, including interactive websites, images, and discussion questions to facilitate teaching environmental issues while presenting the impact of human activity in a concrete way. National Geographic thoroughly explains strategies that teachers can utilize in the classroom in order to increase the students’ willingness to act toward ameliorating environmental issues that are threatening life on earth as we know it. One of the strategies is to expose students to facts and make the content of a lesson immediately relevant to student lives. Thus, I focused on place-based learning by comparing and contrasting areas located in Georgia. Overall, obtaining certification has enhanced my efficacy in teaching young students about human impact on other organisms while encouraging action. It reminded me that young children are capable of caring about acting toward conserving resources and organisms if they conceptually understand the state of our world and their roles.”
– Jessica Martinez, January 2017 Teacher of the Month for GGA. Find her Capstone Video here.