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Summer is the prime time for traveling. From exotic vacations to adventures abroad to a nearby bed and breakfasts, no matter where you go or what you do, traveling should be a time to unwind, refresh, and explore. If you’re a teacher, you’ve probably been counting down the days until summer for much longer than you’re willing to admit, and now that it’s upon you, you can’t wait to hit the road. Maybe you have a grand trip planned, or maybe you’re still searching for that perfect getaway. Since you’re a teacher, you are likely a student of the world and you’re always looking for new opportunities to learn and grow. On top of that, you probably want to have some fantastic educational experiences this summer that you can take back to your students in the fall.
No matter what type of instructional and inspirational trip you’re looking to take this summer or in the future, we’ve got you covered. We have some ideas for overseas teaching opportunities, as well as some nearby and not-so-nearby destinations that are sure to excite the learner in you and spark your passion for teaching during the upcoming fall.
Short-Term Peace Corps
Have you always wanted to join the Peace Corps but feel like your opportunity has passed now that you have a full-time teaching job? Worry no more because the Peace Corps has short-term service trips too! Called Peace Corps Response, these short-term trips are incredibly high-impact and require experienced professionals to complete tasks and serve specific needs in particular areas. From academic program establishment to educational training to discipline management, there are a number of opportunities for educators to serve in a short-term Peace Corps opening. It should be noted that some of these projects are longer than just the length of summer break, but it’s still worth a look if it’s something you’re interested in.
NOAA Teacher at Sea
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has an amazing program called Teacher at Sea. It’s a perfect opportunity for any K-12 full-time teacher to have an incredible and fully-funded experience over the summer that includes cruising around for anywhere from one week to a month, learning about surveys and research being done by the NOAA, and working shifts on the ship to contribute to the overall mission of the cruise. Cruises deal with fishery research, biological and physical surveys, oceanographic research, and hydrographic surveys. Every part of this program is sure to enlighten teachers and give them a myriad of incredible experiences to share with their students upon their arrival home.
Global Exploration for Educators Organization
GEEO was founded as a non-profit organization with the mission to help teachers travel affordably and take trips with an educational focus. K-12 teachers (as well as college professors, administrators, and more) from all over the world can apply for trips with Global Exploration for Educators Organization, and their trips range from 5 to 23 days in length and go all over the globe. The trips include discounted rates, and each trip consists of small groups for optimal enjoyment and learning experiences. Teachers can get professional development credit or graduate degree credit for going on a trip with GEEO, and each teacher creates a lesson plan based on their trip upon completion of it. This ensures that not only are teachers constantly learning and thinking about teaching during the trip, but they have a specific lesson plan created before the school year even begins to share their experiences with their students.
No matter what subject you teach or what interests you have outside of school, there are sure to be some museums nearby where you live that can give you some inspiration for the upcoming year. Science, history, and art museums are in just about every major city, but you may also be able to find toy museums, wax museums, technology museums, archaeological museums, music museums, and so on. Do a search in your local city and expand to nearby metropolitan areas. There are even virtual museums where you can experience all that you would in a physical museum but from the comfort of your own home via your computer.
Traveling abroad to any location is sure to give you an experience worth sharing. Whether you face cultural surprises, climate differences, or a language challenge, traveling abroad will open your eyes to things and people you didn’t know existed. It will also give you some great insight into the importance of teaching your students with a global perspective. You might want to visit Rome, Italy or London, England, or you may have a more exotic location in mind, such as Brazil, Kenya, or Thailand. You may choose to travel abroad for the sheer purpose of immersing yourself in a different culture other than your own, or you may just be going to another country to relax on their beaches and take in the sights. Either way, take the opportunity to embrace cultural differences and tour historical sites, and be sure to learn everything you can about a way of life and a culture that is unique to you.
To those in the northern United States, Canada may seem like just another state or another local tourist destination. But for those who live in the central or southern US, Canada may as well be a completely different continent. Whether you travel just over the border to Niagara Falls or Vancouver, or if you travel farther into Canada, such as to Jasper National Park or Edmonton, you’re sure to experience a different culture and unique nuances that you simply won’t see in the United States. Canada has a lot of historical cities and landmarks, including Quebec City and Montreal, and you’re sure to have new and exciting adventures when you travel to Canada this summer.
Nearby Historical City
The United States, though not as rich in history as other nations, still has some significant historical cities throughout. Whether one is just a stone’s throw away or if you have to hop on a plane to get there, it will be well worth the trip to explore a historical city in our very own country. Consider visiting Washington D.C., Philadelphia, New Orleans, Boston, Charleston, Richmond, San Francisco, or St. Augustine. Check out the local tourist spots, go on a walking tour, and check out the local museums. Even if you’re not a history buff or a social studies teacher, you’ll likely take away a great deal from a trip like this and you’ll have a great deal to teach your students about your travels when school starts back in the fall.