Montroyal Elementary School teacher Kristen Gill has earned certification as a National Geographic Educator
After a year of hard work – including an expedition on an icebreaker ship in the far North, running a photography club at her school, and taking various courses and programs – Kristen Gill has been named a National Geographic Educator.
"The last year has felt like I am doing a second degree between the assignments from National Geographic and the certification requirements. The certification is meant to create a worldwide collaborative group of global educators, dedicated to teaching students to understand and become invested in their world," said Gill, a teacher at Montroyal Elementary School.
Last year, Gill was selected as one of 35 North American teachers, and the only one from B.C., for the 2016 National Geographic Grosvenor Fellowship program. In the late spring of 2016, she headed out on a National Geographic icebreaker for a two-week expedition off the coasts of Britain, Ireland and Norway. The expedition was life-changing and prompted Gill to continue embracing her passion for the world and embed it even more so into her teaching. This school year, she ran a photography club at Montroyal Elementary and she also designed and ran a workshop this past February on Geographic Literacy.
"Many people only think of maps and memorizing place names when they think of geography. It is so much more! It is pretty much everything that you would see in a National Geographic magazine! Physical geography, human geography, environment and how we interact with the earth are exciting and relevant components of our world," said Gill.
This passion for incorporating geography into her teaching in a relevant way is what led Gill to pursue accreditation as a National Geographic Educator. Certified National Geographic Educators are committed to teaching their students about the world and how it works, empowering them to succeed and make it a better place. There is a three-step process involved in earning certification. Phase one consists of an introductory workshop. In the second phase, applicants must undertake a set of activities or lessons, and then reflect and report on activities and the impact on student learning. The third and final phase requires submission of a capstone report or video that clearly shows students' increase in any of the attitudes, skills or knowledge areas outlined in the National Geographic Learning Framework.
"We are honoured to have Kristen Gill as a Nat Geo Certified Educator. We hope you will join us in recognizing Kristen's accomplishment," wrote Kim Hulse, Senior Director of Education Programs for the National Geographic Society, in a congratulatory letter to the principal at Montroyal Elementary School.
More information about Gill's journey and work as a National Geographic Educator can be found on her blog: http://kristenmgill.weebly.com