It was nearly 4:00 PM on September 7, 2011. I was filing away some papers I had just finished grading and was about to begin the process of logging off my computer at school. Students had been gone for nearly an hour and it was now time for me to head home. Before closing down the computer I noticed the e-mail icon indicating that I had a new message so I decided to read it before leaving...and I'm so glad that I did.
The e-mail informed me that I had been accepted into a professional development program for teachers which culminated in a two-week international travel opportunity in either the Spring or Summer of 2012. So as of that moment on Sept. 7th, I knew I had an amazing opportunity to go...somewhere!
I had first encountered the opportunity for this program through one of various e-mail lists that I receive as a Social Studies Department Chair for my school. Lots of items of "importance" are sent and some I look at while others I discard. I don't remember the exact day I received the e-mail advertising this current opportunity nor do I remember which e-mail list/company sent the information. All I do know is that I scanned through the information and then immediately shared it with other teachers at my school.
It seems like in the two weeks just before receiving the e-mail advertising this opportunity I had been involved within at least four separate conversations with fellow teachers regarding previous opportunities that I have been given for free travel (within the U.S. and internationally) and so I mailed out this opportunity school-wide as a way of saying to all of them "here's an example...most of you qualify too...APPLY!" Unfortunately, I don't think any of them did apply...or maybe that is fortunate for me since it reduced my "competition" :-)
One of the requirements of this program is to keep a travel blog. The blog is not simply to relay information regarding the actually trip itself, but also a way to recount the process leading up to the trip and to reflect upon things I'm learning along the way. The initial phase of this program was an eight-week online course in which I learned some amazing things and meet some awesome teaching colleagues from around the U.S.; over 65 of us are in this program together. My only regret so far is that I did not begin this blog when the course began, because I know that I've learned somethings already that I've probably forgotten...and I hope to remember them again.
So follow with me on this journey...both the actual trip to "somewhere" and the remote roads of preparation to be roamed along the way.