Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Traveling as a teacher in the summer

Ever since becoming a Social Studies teacher in 2009, I've had the opportunity to travel to workshops and seminars each summer.  Most of these workshops will pay at least reimbursement for travel or a stipend for attending.  In this post I will explain workshops I will be attending in the near future and hopefully will post updates as the trips occur.

Part of Gettysburg Cyclorama
Lincoln Memorial
In the summer of 2009, I had the opportunity to attend a Gilder-Lehrman workshop at Gettysburg College with the topic "Lincoln and the Civil War."  This was really the first time I've had first hand experience or training as a teacher with the Civil War.  Along with classroom sessions, we toured the Gettysburg Battlefields, toured the newly opened Visitors Center that included a "backstage" tour of the cyclorama , and then onto Washington, D.C. to visit traces where President Lincoln had visited such as the Old Soldiers' Home and the Lincoln Memorial.  It is said that Lincoln wrote the Emancipation Proclamation at a cottage at the Old Soldiers' Home.  That location was used instead the White House because of it location being cooler than where the Presidential mansion was located.  There was much reading associated with this workshop, but it got me more interested in the Civil War.

In 2010, I was blessed to go on my first overseas trip as part of a teacher group.  I went to India as part of a group of West Virginia teachers through Davis and Elkins College. This opportunity cost participants $500 for the week.   There were about 25 of us that went to a fews days of "briefing" to get ready to go to India about its culture.  About a month later in July we went to India.  India is a society much different from the United States and any other place I have ever been to.  The society is very poor, polluted, and chaotic.   But I was able to see architectural wonders such as the Taj Mahal and the B'hai Temple.  Going to India made us blessed to be Americans.  These are experiences that I routinely share with  students in my classes.

Also in the the summer of 2010, I had the opportunity to have training for "We the People" program presented by James Madison University and the Center for Civic Education.  This training program gave us the opportunity to learn how the "We the People" textbook is to be used and how to participate in student competition.  Part of the program also included a trip to James Madison's Montpelier estate. Participants were given a stipend for attending, room and board, and paid for transportation.  This program has ceased to exist due to funding cuts from Congress.  I do use the textbooks in my Government classes.
James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA


At the DMZ looking onto North Korea
In 2011, I was able to go to South Korea as an educator through The Korea Society for two weeks.  This was an intensive study group of 35 teachers from throughout the United States.  I was blessed to attend this workshop.  We stayed in Seoul for a week in hotels and travelled for another week in the countryside to tour UNESCO World Heritage sites and even the Hyundai shipbuilding yard.  We had a BYU professor who was fluent in Hangul (Korean) that led our tours and we had lectures by different professors and leaders at University of Korea on different topics.  We participated in the folk arts of Korea, learned to make and drink tea, took part in grand meals,  and even dressed like traditional Korean royalty! By far, this was a thorough workshop to attend.   They paid for everything and even gave us spending money for days on our own.  Best of all, we were able to go to the DMZ to probably the most tense territory in the world!
Also in 2011, I went with the TAH group to Washington, DC.  It was a beautiful week to go to D.C. with a Potomac river tour from Alexandria to Georgetown.  We visited the typical Washington sites and went to the Newseum for a workshop.  This was definitely a unqiue opportunity to understand the role of media in society.  We also visited George Washington's Mount Vernon and George Mason's Gunston Hall.

The Summer of 2012 was very busy for me.  I went with a Teaching American History group from West Virginia. We started off to Montpelier overnight in the cottages they have there and a brief tour and workshop.  Then we travelled by bus to Atlanta, Georgia.  There we went probably the coolest June days Atlanta have ever had!   There we visited Morehouse College and were intrigued with their culture on campus.  We also followed the steps of Martin Luther King in Sweet Auburn were the Martin Luther King Historic Site is located with his childhood home, visitors' center, and Ebenezer Baptist Church.  We also visited the Carter Presidential Library
Ebenezer Baptist Church
Stone Mountain

, CNN Center, and World of Coke among other locations in Atlanta.  We also spend a day at Stone Mountain.

I also went on a EF Tour trip to Fiji, New Zealand, Australia, and Hawaii for two weeks.  This was a trip I paid my way and it was with a student group through my school.  I am not going into this trip because this was a more personal trip rather than part of any workshop.
Chicago Theater
The Loop in Chicago
To complete my summer teacher workshop experiences, I took 5 flights from Honolulu to Chicago.  In Chicago I attended the Historical Skyscrapers workshop at the Santa Fe Railroad Building.  This was a workshop through the National Endowment for the Humanities.  This NEH workshop took us through the history and development of Chicago, tours of historical skyscrapers and other historical buildings, and art through the central loop.  The Taste of Chicago was also taking place during the same week.  This was a great workshop for me due to my great interest in architecture.

This summer is almost just as busy.  Next week I will be touring Washington, D.C. with another group.  I am looking forward to going to the Lincoln Memorial and going to the place where Dr. Martin Luther King spoke his "I Have a Dream" speech that will be celebrated 50 years ago in August. We will be visiting the Supreme Court, the Capitol Complex, the National Archives and the National Portrait Galleries as well as George Washington's Mount Vernon.
I will have a day home basically to do laundry and stock up for the next two weeks.
I will be departing to fly to San Francisco towards the end of July to attend a Gilder-Lehrman workshop on the History of the Supreme Court workshop that will be held near Stanford University.  I won't have time to visit San Francisco, but I hope to see some of the sights of the Silicon Valley.  After this workshop I will be attending a workshop on Frank Lloyd Wright in Mason City, Iowa.

Hopefully in the next few weeks I will add new posts to this blog to share my experiences over the next few weeks.

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