Are the four walls of the classroom making you claustrophobic? You already know there is more learning when students experience the world first-hand. You have heard about science, math, literature, foreign language, music, art, life skills and Phys Ed teachers all doing ‘something special.’ It’s time to ‘carpe diem’. If any or all of the above apply to you, now it’s time to show, share and be amazed at your students’ exponential growth.
As a Chinese proverb says, “Teachers open the door, but you (the student) must enter on your own.” Where will that door lead you, your students and your instructional program? You will enhance your instructional environment to a multi-sensory level which cannot ever be replicated. The sights, the sounds, the smells, and the tastes of the global classroom are there for you. Your administration will applaud your effort because, as the leaders of the educational community, it will agree with the philosophy of global education. The school community, especially the parents of the participants, will cherish this ‘moment of growth’ for their students and children. This is real education! This is real growth! This is amazing!
Teaching by example is the education in its purest form. Your students will see you as a mentor, guide, instructor, and perhaps, as a friend – not as an adversary. If Europe were your target area, you would be able to experience first-hand the transitions from the Middle Ages to the contributions of the Renaissance. In Italy, you would be able to reveal the unique characteristics of the great masters, Michelangelo, da Vinci, Raphael, Galileo and so many more. In France you could scrutinize the great works of the Louvre; investigate the life of Louis XIV at Versailles; trace the history of the French Revolution; analyze the scientific discoveries of the Curies and even walk the beaches of Normandy. In England, there are so many ‘roots’ of our society that go beyond Shakespeare. You could explore both the lives and impact of Thomas Hobbes, Roger Bacon, William Harvey and, yes, Stephen Hawking at Cambridge. Today’s Germany is a lesson in changes for the better. What better venue is there in the world to teach directly and immediately of human rights, societal changes and betterment as your students observe the changes to Berlin, the beauty of the Rhine and the dynamic energy of Munich? Combine this venue with a visit to Salzburg, Mozart’s hometown, and perhaps Innsbruck, the Alps. Now this is a true classroom!
Speaking of which, there is always the possibility of a school visit. What better way to appreciate your own school’s situation for your students than by interviewing students, attending their classes and noticing their interaction with the teachers and staff. Who knows where such a visit may lead? Pen-pals, exchange programs, home visits, hmm!
The concept of education is simple. We are teachers now but students forever. Is there a better way to educate others than by educating ourselves through others? Remember ‘carpe diem’!