I have just wrapped up an extraordinary experience traveling to France and Italy for 15 days as a Global Teacher Fellow. My colleague, Pam Dow, and I applied for and received monies to travel to the lands of fairy tales, to soak up the rich medieval and Renaissance cultures that produced such classic stories such as Charles Perrault's Sleeping Beauty and Puss in Boots, plus Italian treasures such as Carlos Collodi's Pinocchio.
We documented our travels on our blog, Global Teacher Fellowship. We will continue to use this space as we explore and bring to life the wonderful adventures we've had as we share them with our students. We came back from Europe with pages of ideas to integrate what we discovered from our travels.
Traveling to new and exciting places stretches us as human beings. Being able to navigate new ways of transportation, new languages, new tastes and new ways of doing things always makes me more confident. Traveling is like a big puzzle: most of the time, the pieces all fall into place and the reward is an experience that elevate our spirits and opens us to new worlds. And when a piece doesn't fit in the puzzle where it is supposed to go, we learned that there is always a plan B. And sometimes, that plan B leds to a richer experience. Flexibility mixed with purpose, plus a dose of patience, lots of laughter, and a gift from home for the people we meet along the way (for us, a little glass bottle of maple syrup was our gift for our new friends) is the right attitude. The best part of this is that we had the opportunity to model this for our own daughters, Josie (my soon to be 10th grader) and Emily (Pam's soon to be 9th grader). We squeezed them into our suitcases for this adventure of a lifetime.
I will be forever grateful for the Rural School and Community Trust for selecting Pam and I as 2013 Global Teacher Fellows from a national pool of applicants. This experience will forever change me and ensures that my students will know that: the world is their oyster; being a global citizen is their birthright; sometimes you just have to toss your hat into the ring and see what happens; and to never stop dreaming.