Teaching students principles of Global Citizenship in my classes is important to me. I currently teach Spanish in a rural school in Wyoming where nearly every student enrolled, with the exception of an occasional exchange student, is a native speaker of English. As part of my teaching practice, I endeavor to keep culture at the center of my curriculum. Given the lack of cultural diversity in my community, I draw on my own travel experiences to incorporate relevant cultural topics into my instruction. I am passionate about teaching about cultures and my own travel experiences. Every time I travel somewhere foreign or interesting, I bring those experiences back to my classroom to help inspire and challenge students to think differently about the world, which I think is particularly important in the rural and isolated environment of northern Wyoming. I want to use my first-hand experiences and knowledge to help expand my students’ frame of reference about the world.
At this point in my life, I have traveled to 24 different countries, touching down on five continents. I feel very fortunate to have had all of the incredible experiences that I have had, and I try to never pass up an opportunity to learn about a new place or experience a new culture. Some of my most memorable travel experiences include my year-abroad experience in Spain in college, a summer trip to Israel in 2005, a literary tour of England in 2009, my six-week Fund For Teachers fellowship to Peru in 2013, and a whirlwind trip to Honduras, Belize, and Mexico with my wild and rambunctious children this past summer. Thanks to the IREX Teachers for Global Classrooms Program, I am currently preparing to travel to Morocco in March to study the education system there and participate in a cultural exchange. I look forward to the impact this trip will have on me as a teacher, and as a human, in general.
Since 2012, I have also been organizing student tours with my students. In 2016, I will travel with 26 students to Italy & Greece in March, then with 19 more students to Ecuador & the Galapagos in June. I have witnessed first-hand the transformative power travel has for my students, and I am always looking forward to the next educational adventure!