In honor of Geography Awareness Week, we asked our teachers to share their best geography quotes, fun trivia facts, and their deep thoughts. Today we share those deep thoughts with you! Enjoy! The Top 5 Reasons Why Geography Is Important – Nicole Ivoivch Happy Geography Awareness Week! I love learning about geography and supporting my students in their Geography classes. To me, it’s more than coordinates and map locations. I’ve compiled my top five reasons why geography is important in my life. It’s history. Geography can take us back in time to study the ancient people and civilizations that make up our global heritage. There’s nothing better than being able to appreciate the ancient worlds that have impacted our lives today. We’re living in an age where we can visit museums and discover just how amazing humanity through the ages has been! It’s people. Geography celebrates humanity, our success and our common bonds. From our local hometown to far away locations, we grow in awareness of so many human systems. It gives us time to reflect on how we have positively impacted our world through cultural diffusion and shared traditions. I have been lucky to meet people from around the world and have become a better person because of their impact on my life. It’s language. Have you learned a new language? Or spoken to someone who maybe is learning yours? It’s pretty neat to see how one language is really an amalgamation of many influences. Learning or practicing just one additional language can open doors and new opportunities in travel, work, and building friendships too! It’s looking to the future. We’re living in an ever-changing world. Geography grounds and prepares us for the challenges ahead. In learning about the Earth and its many geographical regions, we can assess our greatest natural resources and work together to conserve its energies. We can work on building a stronger future for our Earth and ourselves. It’s a chance to grow in compassion. Geography has taught me to appreciate our diversity and celebrate our commonalities. It can open doors to new cultural experiences and expand our minds. It’s the practice in growing our compassion for ourselves and other people of our world. When we learn from each other, it’s quick to discover that we have more in common than not. Why I Love Teaching Geography – Amy Chenoweth I’ve always enjoyed learning about the different people and places of our world. Growing up, my dad and I spent countless afternoons watching National Geographic documentaries. While they weren’t necessarily my first choice, we had one TV and not many channels to choose from in rural Kansas. However, it was through these afternoons that I came to realize the world is much larger and more diverse than I could ever imagine. Geography quickly became one of my favorite subjects, and my wish list of places to visit grew exponentially. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the opportunity to travel much when I was younger. I was in my early twenties the first time I flew, and I didn’t see the ocean until a few years later. Then, I married a military man, and things changed. In 12 years, we lived in 15 different places, and I loved it! I got to experience different parts of the United States and even lived in Germany for four years. I truly believe that studying geography prepared me to be a global citizen, and I love sharing what I’ve learned. We are so much more connected than at any other time in history, and being a geography teacher allows me to help my students navigate the complexities of living in a global society. Happy Geography Awareness Week! Mapping Tolerance – Brea Cook Have you ever traveled abroad? Maybe you ate fried pizza in Naples or haggis, neeps, and tatties in Scotland. Perhaps you walked the cobblestoned streets between old buildings that leaned to one side or listened to a musician playing an instrument you had never seen before. Food, music, language, and religion are all parts of a society’s culture and an important aspect of human geography. Unfortunately, not everyone has the opportunity to frequently travel abroad with their families. By teaching human geography, we can expose our youth to these cultural differences so that they can view the world in a more tolerant way. In a geography classroom, students learn about the diverse civilizations of our world. Students are presented with the ideas of how culture affects their lives and how their culture impacts other societies. Ideally, students will one day become global citizens. The United Nations defines this term [‘global citizen”] as a person who can act with social, political, and environmental ideas that pertain to the whole world. Global citizens can look beyond their city or country and see how decisions affect other societies. This aspect of looking beyond an individual’s way of life is not meant to dismiss the uniqueness of its own, but to learn every culture is special. Open-minded dialogue regarding the similarities and differences in societies within the geography classroom provides students with both the knowledge and the confidence to continue with similar conversations later in life. Geography is more than maps. It is the door to a world of tolerance. By helping our youth understand other cultures are similar to our own, yet beautifully different, we are providing them with the tools to make their generation a more accepting place. Have our teacher’s deep thoughts on geography left you wanting to learn more? Read more about our Geography & World Cultures course along with all of our Social Studies Courses by visiting our Course Catalog.