Summer School

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.

Waiting for the metro, moments before I missed the last train.

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.

Never got a stamp from my hostel in Munich.

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! 

Fellow adventurers! Kate (mom of a current student) is heading to Prague to study puppetry, and Elaine (colleague and commenter on this blog!) is off to Ireland and England on a literary journey. We enjoyed a welcome reception and orientation in New Haven with all of the Fund for Teachers fellows from Connecticut.

Thank you to Fund for Teachers and The Transatlantic Outreach Program for these amazing opportunities! Stay tuned for regular updates during my travels this summer. Here’s the schedule:

  •  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!

Comments (14):

  1. Susanne Murphy

    June 15, 2018 at 21:28

    I stand in awe. Enjoy!

    • Tim Flanagan

      June 17, 2018 at 22:37

      I’m looking forward to it!

  2. Lukas

    June 15, 2018 at 21:38

    I hope you’ll enjoy my country!! I won’t be home at that time yet, but your schedule seems pretty tight anyways. Hope you’ll have a great time.

    • Tim Flanagan

      June 17, 2018 at 22:46

      Sorry I’ll miss you, Lukas, but you’re right – I do have a very tight schedule in Germany. New Zealand looks amazing! You really know how to travel!

  3. Lori Liguori

    June 15, 2018 at 21:49

    The pictures are priceless, Tim! Looking forward to following you on more adventures this summer!

    • Tim Flanagan

      June 17, 2018 at 22:46

      And I’ll be following your adventures!

  4. Vicky Ann Deledda

    June 15, 2018 at 22:10

    I commend you, Tim, once again as you set off on your journey- all because you researched and found these wonderful opportunities. They already sound exciting and I can see why such a great writer and photographer is so deserving of these trips. May the cute guy, with all that hair, by the burger poster in 1987 – have as much fun learning and broadening the minds of those who listen in 2018!
    Safe travels! Good vibes only!

    • Tim Flanagan

      June 17, 2018 at 22:50

      Thank you, dear. Wish you could join me. Don’t have as much hair as I did back then, but that won’t stop me.

  5. LInda Wight

    June 16, 2018 at 10:20

    Hl Tim, I’m absolutely exhausted just reading your schedule :). How wonderful for you! The first schedule seems intense and I can’t wait to read about all your upcoming experiences. It is sure to be exciting, educational and filled with your vivid descriptions and photos. The free time to all that history !!!! Then on to Cuba, WOW! Your photography class will be in for a real treat. Be sure to share those early school day pictures of yourself – I’m with Vicki, -that’s one cute guy. That student has learned well and has become a wonderful educator . This is true In your classrooms,, This is true for the people you meet each and every day, and I count myself among that group.. I’m so lucky to be part of your family. You make me chuckle,. You make me think.. I’m sure your parents are looking down with joy! As always, stay travels, God bless, your wordy cousin, Linda

    • Tim Flanagan

      June 17, 2018 at 22:52

      Thank you, Linda. Your wordy posts warm my heart and give me a little more courage when I hit the road. I look forward to sharing this next adventure with you.

  6. Denise Zalaski

    June 17, 2018 at 07:46

    As always, I admire your drive and desire to lead such a fulfilling and rewarding life! I envy your ability to delve into risk-taking and adventurous endeavors. You remind me so much of Jeannine in that way:-) You are AMAZING!! I hope we can connect when you return. Enjoy your experiences that lie ahead.
    Love ya,

    • Tim Flanagan

      June 17, 2018 at 22:54

      Thank you, Nisi. I can’t think of a better compliment. I’ll be looking for you at the beach in August!

  7. Alexa Garvey

    July 5, 2018 at 20:49

    Have a great time Tim! Can’t wait to read about your experiences.

  8. Denise Zalaski

    August 14, 2018 at 06:39

    Hey Tim!! You must be home by now from your travels. Would love to connect with you at some point. Text me when you can. Can’t wait to hear all about your travels.


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