I shared our first Husky Fan Club postcard of the year with my students today. My college roommate/maid of honor/you get the idea sent a postcard from her recent trip to Prague. One student raised her hand, “How does she do that?”
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“How does she take trips like that?”
Needless to say, they were captivated. We found the Czech Republic on our map, discussed why castles were built high up on hills, and calculated her flight time and path. For most the kids in my class, getting on an airplane is not a familiar experience, so when we talk about traveling, I have to really build their understanding of what travel actually entails. When I explained they could study abroad in college for about the same price as a semester away at college somewhere in the United States, their jaws dropped. They were excited because they already believe they can and will go to college, which means by extension, travel is also possibly in their future.
The timing of this conversation was perfect because it turns out our art teacher’s daughter is currently on her gap year trip around the world, so she has been helping them understand what her daughter did to take her own fantastic journey. Her daughter saved every penny herself, working from the age of 14. I thought I liked to travel, but this girl has me beat. She is currently in Machu Picchu, which is even cooler because of our Machu Picchu poster in class. The kids already knew where she was talking about.
Encouraging kids to want to see the world is probably my favorite part of teaching. I still remember all those amazing social studies pictures that inspired me, the Taj Mahal, Versailles, Machu Picchu. This weekend my goal is to make a new poster of different ways to say “Good Morning” around the world for our morning meeting greetings.
Thank goodness for vicarious travel.