Thanks to the staff and students at Chemainus Elementary School for allowing me to tell them about my National Geographic adventure to the Galapagos Islands! There were lots of questions and giggles as we chatted about the wingspan of birds, the difficulties (at least for me!) in photographing sharks, and especially the name boobies...
Its been a very busy few months since my Galapagos expedition aboard Lindblad Expeditions' National Geographic Endeavour! Settling in at school took a bit of time. I presented small information sessions within my school for a variety of grade levels. It was great to be able to share my experiences with staff and students. Once again, a huge thank you to all the National Geographic Naturalists and staff for making it an adventure of a lifetime. See some of my photos in the gallery section...
In mid-Oct. I received a phone call from Connie Wyatt-Anderson, a Governor of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and the Chair of its education wing. She informed me that my nomination had been selected by the RCGS, and that I would be receiving their Innovation in Teaching Award for 2015! I would be traveling to Ottawa in mid-Nov. to receive the award at a ceremony held in conjunction with the RCGS annual meetings and dinner. My husband was able to accompany me and it was a fabulous experience. Everyone at the RCGS was very kind and made us feel very special. It was wonderful to meet the other award winners including Canadian author Margaret Atwood, who, along with her partner, Graeme Gibson, received Gold Medals from the RCGS. I was thrilled to have time to chat with Ms. Atwood - she has a great sense of humour!
On Oct. 23 I presented a workshop at the BC Social Studies Teachers' Conference in Vancouver. I was pleased to be able to share my experiences as a National Geographic Grosvenor Teacher Fellow! The teachers were very pleased to receive activities that could be used in their classrooms the following day... I created the resources using the Geog. 12 curriculum and information gained from my expedition to the Galapagos Islands.
While at the conference, I learned that a lesson plan that I had submitted in April, had been selected as a winning entry (one of 20 from across Canada) for the Government of Canada History Award. Title of the activity is: Historical Dilemma: Who was the Greatest Prime Minister of the 20th Century. http://www.canadashistory.ca/History-Awards/Teaching-Award/Plans-de-lecons/Janet-Ruest
Our school, Chemainus Secondary, continues to pursue the theme: Island Life - inspired by my Galapagos adventure. I am providing support, ideas and resources for teachers as they incorporate the theme into their various curricula. I have plans to present sessions at our elementary feeder schools and have scheduled presentations at neighbouring high schools in the new year.