Lexington, Ky. (WTVQ) — Most days you’ll find Janet Shedd or Miss Shedd in classroom four at Providence Montessori. She’s been a teacher there for nine years.
But in early September, Shedd was studying geography, plants and animals in the Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador. Shedd was named one of 35 teachers selected as a Grosvenor Teacher Fellow through National Geographic. In the program’s nine year history, she was the first selected from Lexington and the second from Kentucky.
“The idea is to give teachers who are really excited about geography, hands on experience,” says Shedd. “The Galapagos Islands have some of the most unique animals that you won’t see anywhere else.”
Shedd says they sailed around the islands, went on hikes and went underwater snorkeling to complete research. “It’s a very harsh environment there. The plants and animals have had to adapt,” Shedd says, talking about the islands’ limited fresh water supply.
Shedd’s ultimate goal? To pass along her experience to students here in Lexinigton, to get them excited about geography. She has shared lessons on sea lions, giant tortoises and blue-footed boobies. Her students remember the shape of the Galapagos Islands by its shape, similar to the outline of a hammerhead shark. “The children I’m teaching are going to go on to come up with solutions. It’s so important for them to learn about other parts of the world and what an amazing world we live in,” says Shedd.
Shedd says she will apply for other teaching fellowships in the future.