So I guess it’s too soon to take another year off (or is it?). In the meantime, I’ve been researching and applying to a few travel opportunities for teachers. This summer, I am lucky to participate in two programs, one to Germany and one to Cuba.
Return to Germany
The last time I was in Germany, I stayed out past the curfew set by my youth hostel (because I had to pee and missed the last metro of the night). Not wanting to sleep in the street, I snuck into the all-female hostel my friends were staying in. It was 1987. I was in college and on a whirlwind trip through Europe before heading to England for my student teaching experience. It was my first time on a plane and my first time leaving the country. I had a lot to learn.
This trip will be different. The Transatlantic Outreach Program takes groups of social studies and STEM teachers on fully funded tours of Germany every summer. During my two-week tour, my cohort and I will learn about many varied topics, with a focus on modern Germany. The trip will include meetings with government officials and educators, visits to industries and schools, and a few nights in a castle. We will learn about a social program that supports people with disabilities, another that addresses the needs of students who leave school, and one that supports migrant women and refugees. We will also visit Sachsenhausen memorial, a former concentration camp. It will be an intense two-week tour filled with visits to public and private organizations, lectures, and travel.
As a group, we started preparing for the tour in April when we connected online and had our first virtual meeting. We have been assigned readings, been given a strict dress code (including formal business attire for some occasions), and will meet in Washington, DC for a two-day orientation before our departure. I am looking forward to the incredible amount of learning we will do and for the chance to experience Germany in a very different way than my first trip there as a college student.
Fun(d) for Teachers
Imagine if someone offered you $5000 to learn anything you wanted to this summer, anywhere in the world. That’s exactly what this amazing organization, Fund for Teachers, does for hundreds of teachers across the country every year. This year, I’m lucky enough to be one of them.
Thirty hours after returning from Germany, I will be on a plane to Cuba to participate in a photography tour. This experience will be very different not only because Germany and Cuba are so unique, but because Fund for Teachers is all about independent travel and learning. I will be completely in charge of my own schedule (and can wear shorts and sandals every day if I want to!) One of my goals for this trip will be to improve my photography skills so that I can teach a photography course or club at my school. In fact, I’ll be teaching a summer course in photography just a few days after I return from Cuba. It will be a busy summer of teaching, traveling, and learning!
- June 29-30: TOP Tour orientation at the Goethe Institute in Washington, DC
- July 1-14: TOP Tour in Germany (Frankfurt, Würzburg, Geisa, Berlin)
- July 14-19: Travel on my own in Prague
- July 21-August 2: Cuba!