Supporting Teachers on the Frontlines of COVID-19 – The Independent | News Events Opinion More

“The role of teachers has never been more important as they work tirelessly to engage and inspire their students in a socially distant world,” says Vicki Phillips, chief education officer at the National Geographic Society. © fizkes / iStock via Getty Images Plus

Supporting Teachers on the Frontlines of COVID-19

(StatePoint) Educators are among the many on the frontlines of COVID-19. During a time of immense disruption, they are quickly adapting their teaching methods, testing new skills, and discovering solutions to advance learning in profound new ways.

For K-12 educators who are designing instructional resources that align with the needs of today’s remote- and hybrid-teaching realities, a new emergency fund can potentially aid their efforts. Launched by the National Geographic Society, the fund aims to directly support at least 50 teaching professionals, including formal and informal classroom educators, with grants ranging from $1,000–8,000. In an effort to support as many teachers and students as possible, the resources created by grant recipients will become freely available on the National Geographic Society education website, and within the National Geographic education communities on Twitter and Facebook.

“The role of teachers has never been more important as they work tirelessly to engage and inspire their students in a socially distant world,” says Vicki Phillips, chief education officer at the National Geographic Society. “Our goal is to equip educators with the resources and support they need to continue creating, innovating and pioneering new ways of teaching so their peers and their students can continue growing.”

The fund places particular emphasis on remote- and hybrid-learning resources, methodologies and practices that use the power of science, social studies and geography to help students understand the significance of current and complex challenges, such as a global pandemic. Other priorities include instructional resources that help students bridge their personal experiences to a more global perspective on critical issues such as sustainability and social justice.

In an effort to identify, support and elevate a range of educator voices, perspectives and communities, priority will be given to those working in communities that have been particularly hard hit by the pandemic and who have not previously received National Geographic funding. Applicants can apply individually, in collaboration with other educators or with National Geographic Explorers. To learn more, visit NatGeoEd.org/covidgrants. To provide additional guidance during the application process, the Society is offering weekly virtual “Design Labs.” Educators can also ask questions by visiting @NatGeoEducation on Twitter.

During an unusual school year, new avenues of support and funding are emerging. Leveraging these resources can help educators continue their mission of preparing young people to confront the challenges of a rapidly changing world.

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