When I first applied for this program with Teachers for Global Classrooms they had you identify your top three choices within their list of options. The options were Brazil, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Morocco, and Ukraine. My top were three Indonesia, Brazil, and Morocco.
While I would have been fine with any of them I did want to go somewhere I've never been before (was in India in June 2009) and somewhere different than other places I've been (three other sub-Saharan African countries: Kenya, Uganda, & Malawi). While I've been to another South American country (Peru), Brazil would provide a difference in that it is primarily Portuguese speaking while most others in South America are Spanish. I also liked the idea of going to a predominantly Muslim country and that made both Morocco and Indonesia (world's largest Muslim country) ideal.
As the eight-week course neared its conclusion I remember speaking with co-workers about how I was really hoping for Indonesia. Something about Indo just keep bringing it to the forefront of my mind.
So there I was at my desk on December 7, 2011, during 6th hour. My students were working independently on primary source document analysis assignment when an e-mail from TGC arrived. I couldn't help but make my pleasure known to my students. INDONESIA. I had gotten my preferred choice!!! I will be traveling with ten other teachers to Indonesia in July.
By this point, the eight-week course was over and one of the other participants in the group had created a Facebook page which over half of the participating teachers have joined. We each began posting comments regarding our country assignments. I'm highly glad that I'll be going to Indo in July because other groups are traveling in March and April...the two months right before AP testing and that would complicate the final preparation times before my students take their high-stakes national exams so as to potentially earn college credit while still in high school.
A few days later I received another e-mail. It included a list of every one's country assignments and I noticed something rather cool. All five of the teachers in the TGC program from Oklahoma are in the Indonesia group!!! How great will that be to share this opportunity with fellow Oklahomans and then to return to our home state as a team united to help spread the wonders of global education with colleagues here!
Even following the actual trip I can already sense the life travels that my work with these fellow Oklahoma teachers will provide as we roam the remote roads of meaningful education reform in our home state.