It was about a year ago that I found out my grant application had been approved and I was going to have the opportunity to travel somewhere wonderful with TGC – Teachers for Global Classrooms. Of course, as grueling as application was to complete, it was only the tip of the iceberg. Last fall I joined my 80 fellow grant recipients in an intense 8 week online course. It was a challenging class, but it was structured so that we interacted naturally with one another and formed bonds before we even met.
The union that felt more like a reunion happened in February in Washington, DC. We all met at the Chinese Mandarin hotel for 3 day workshop. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet the people with whom I will be traveling to the Philippines, as well as the vibrant, brilliant classmates I came to know in the fall who have already begun traveling to other destinations. I still have a lot of planning to do, but the symposium in Washington gave me a clear focus of what our trip is about. We want to make our own classrooms global classrooms. In doing so we want to connect with classrooms across the world to share ideas and culture. While in the Philippines I will have the opportunity to teach, but ideally I will be a learner who can come back and share my experiences in a meaningful way with students and colleagues.
Tonight I’m not working. I’m playing: looking into options that go beyond my assignment in the Philippines. I’m hoping to take 2 extra weeks to backpack in order experience the country more completely. There are so many intriguing places! I’m going during the rainy season, which just adds another level of adventure to the experience. It also means that I’m just going to come up with a loose plan A and plan B, then make up what I actually do as I go along.