Monday, February 27, 2012

Those Who Can...Do. Those Who Can't....

....teach? I think not. This blog is proof of everything teachers can do, choose to do, and plan to do. This is proof that teachers have changed a great deal. We don't live at our desks behind a stack of red-inked papers wearing snowman sweaters. We don't wish we were "smarter" so we could have entered a "real" profession like business or law. And we don't all wish we were Robin Williams from Dead Poets Society or Michelle Pfieffer in Dangerous Minds.

During a recent visit with my dad, I filled him in on my plans to travel to Brazil this June with TGC. (Teachers for Global Classrooms) He looked at me quizzically and asked, "Since when do teachers do ALL of this?"  My reply? Since now.

Now teachers study art in Tuscany and teach poetry through watercolors when they return to their classroom.

Now teachers apply for grants to learn about environmental education in the Bahamas.

Now teachers spend two weeks in South America learning about the culture and educational system of Brazil.

So much for teachers being the ones who can't.

Monday, February 20, 2012

A Single Step...

I am an English teacher. So, why is this so hard? A simple blog to share my journey as a global teacher and record my travel preparations and experiences.

I am scared to death.

My journey starts here, with each paragraph, word, and carefully placed comma on display. What if I misplace a modifier? Or even worse, what if  people don't care? Suddenly I know exactly how my students feel when I tell them that turning in an essay about their most memorable life experience is no big deal. No big deal? No wonder English teachers get a bad rep. When students truly struggle with pen and paper, I simply tell them to start with a single step. So here I go; this is my first, cautious step.
I am writing for fellow teachers who truly believe that learning extends well beyond classroom walls. Fellow travelers who know that wanderlust never goes away and it is a wonderful feeling. Readers who may be interested in seeing this big world through the perspective of one little high school English teacher. An English teacher with a mission to prove that the best kind of education does not come from a textbook.

Since travel, teaching and learning new things are all I tend to think about, I will find my way back here as often as inspiration calls me. For math teachers and others who rely on exact measurements, this means at least once a week.

 Ok, my first stab at being a blogging English teacher is now over.

That wasn't so bad.