Friday, April 15, 2016

A Week of (FREE!) Student Travel!

It's a busy time of year, and friends ask me if I'm "ready for summer" yet.

Honestly, no, I'm not.

When I say that, my friends think I'm joking. But, there's So. Much. To. Do. I'm talking good stuff, too, dear readers. The kind of things that get you hopping out of bed early in the morning, and may even keep you up late at night.

Those of you who know me, know I LOVE to travel, explore and learn about others and their cultures. I'm always seeking ways to bring my students along, which is why I also love being a connected educator. Here are some of the things that make teaching exciting for me. Have a look at these images from just 3 days!

Traveling to the Middle East and Central Asia!
I get excited when I see curiosity sparked in students, and it's especially easy using realia like these artifacts from Bahrain, Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan and Pakistan:

Artifacts from Kyrgyzstan
Artifacts from Afghanistan and Pakistan
Articles from Bahrain
Don't let their age fool you--teens still love to try
new things!
Who are these new people in our class?

Traveling to New York City and the United Nations Headquarters!
And showing them places they've not been--but in real time, and in an interactive way, like this virtual field trip at the United Nations in NYC: (via skype)
A view outside the window of the UN in New York!
Art representing Chernobyl. There are many pieces of donated
art which represent historical events, people and cultures. 
Ah, yes. The inner workings of the UN.
Meeting and seeking solutions. 
One of our favorite illustrated rights from the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

"Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including
reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic
holidays with pay." 
My sketchnotes from our United Nations virtual field trip.

Traveling to Costa Rica to meet a Women's Rights Activist!
And introducing them to a bilingual human rights activist who taught them how easy it is to get roped into human rights issues when you are observant, care about those around you, and have faith. Here is a photo of Adilia Caravaca Zuniga, a strong member of the Women's International LPF, an organization over 100 years old.

Ms. Caravaca started her quest for human rights as a
very young girl. 
She has continued her fight for women's rights for
many years, in many places. 
What was REALLY cool about Ms. Caravaca's presentation is the fact that, as busy as she is, she realizes the value of spending 40 minutes with teens thousands of miles away! Sparking interest, sparking curiosity, and reminding all of us how critical it is that we care? Thanks to Skype, we experienced all of that!

And yes, students remember. Of course, when you tell them "this day, THIS CLASS!, is going to be unforgettable, and without a doubt their favorite class of the day", guess what?
You'll be right.

Hope you enjoyed the "week in pictures"! Fun times are afoot in Room 204. :-)

What connections can YOU make with your students this month/ semester/ year? What universities can you partner with? What virtual tours can you experience? Who can skype in with your students? Most importantly, what connections can your students help you find?

*Special thanks to WorldView at UNC Chapel Hill, for providing the different culture kits;
thanks to UN outreach center for setting up two separate tours; and thanks to my colleague Carla Jimenez, for procuring our esteemed guest, Ms. Caravaca, on Friday. It truly does take a village to educate our children well, and although it takes a little time setting it all up, this, my friends, is what students will be talking about far more than that worksheet or study guide.  ;-)

Who will you connect with today?  Where is your next destination?

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