Jefferson recognized for certification

Published 10:47 am Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Fuqua School is proud to announce that Kathryn “Kathy” Jefferson who teaches one of Fuqua’s fourth/ fifth grade classes has been recognized for her successful completion of the National Geographic Educator Certification Program.

She was selected by the Virginia Geographic Alliance (VGA), to participate in the program, specifically for training on the new Giant State Traveling Maps, which are geared toward elementary education.

“I was very excited and honored to participate in the conference for our state,” said Jefferson. She also mentioned what a privilege it is to be a member of VGA and how every educator should take advantage of its free membership with many benefits and opportunities. Jefferson embarked on the mission of becoming certified through the program beginning in July 2016.

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“It took me about a year to complete the lessons and capstone video, because I was challenged by the VGA to work with and develop lessons for older students, too. Through the process, I worked with pre-K through college level students” Jefferson said.

The National Geographic Educator Certification program is free for educators, but is extremely competitive.

“Each state selected two representatives for their state. My cohort consisted of the East Coast educators,” Jefferson said.

The certification is offered three times throughout the year for a fall, winter or spring cohort, and evaluations occur twice a year, in the fall and spring. The program requires the completion of three phases, the first being a certification workshop that Jefferson completed in Washington, D.C. In the second phase of the certification process the educators were prompted with creating and facilitating two activities that have to do with themes associated with the ideals of National Geographic. For her activities, she created lessons for the Giant State Traveling Map of Virginia.

The first lesson is on the five regions of Virginia, which includes making a topographical map, marking various locations on the map and identifying resources. The second lesson she completed in Phase 2 involved using GIS on the map.

“Students use iPad technology to locate and label their hometown in relation to cities printed on the map,” Jefferson said.

The final step of the process is the Capstone project in which the educator must submit lesson plans, photographs of student work and film a brief video explaining their work. “The most challenging part of the experience was learning how to create and edit video,” she said. Jefferson plans to continue to incorporate concepts that she learned through the certification process and using the Giant State Traveling Map.

“The map is really a wonderful tool for teaching students how to develop the attitudes, skills, and knowledge to learn about the world around them. Students of all ages love the hands-on, feet-on learning style” said Jefferson.