Travelling leaves an impact on every individual. It broadens one’s horizons and alters their perspective of life, the world and their place in it. We think that for teachers, going overseas and visiting places relevant to your subject area is a MUST.
The great thing about teacher trips is not only getting to know a different culture and seeing amazing places, but also being able to tell your students all about it!
Below are 5 examples of how teachers can use their travel experience in the classroom.
If you are a language teacher and visit the country where the language is spoken, remember to pick up a few children’s books from the local book shop. Why children’s’ books? Well, kids’ stories tell you a lot about the culture and the way people bring up their young ones. Your students will find it interesting to find out what kids on the other side of the world read. You know what they say: ‘You can’t master a language if you don’t understand the culture’. Another great reason to pick children’s stories is that they are usually written in simple language and are easy for your students to understand. You could also bring back a book with songs in the other language, and sing it in class!
You might think that it is impossible to ‘teach’ a culture – and you’re right! Of course, you can’t teach culture, but you can become a story teller. Share your experience with people and explain situations that were surprising or maybe difficult for you. Ask them, what could be a cause for a cultural misunderstanding and get your students to figure out the differences in behaviour and society. Tell your students how you were able to overcome those difficulties and what to remember when travelling to this specific destination. Little stories like that stick in their memory a lot longer than fact sheets!
Pen pals are an amazing opportunity for language students to practice their language skills and finding a friend on the other side of the world. Try to meet with a local teacher or school, and simply ask around. English is taught in almost every other country, and who in Europe wouldn’t be excited about having an Australian Pen Pal? Back home, show your students how to approach them, what questions to ask and – of course – get them to write in the foreign language.
Sharing not only stories but also photos and videos with your students, is a great way to get them excited and help them understand the country of destination. This is not only relevant for language teachers, but also interesting in subject areas such as Geography, Social Sciences, History and many more. If you have time, try to film some interviews with the locals asking them about your topic and their opinion / knowledge on it.
If you have been to a destination that’s relevant to your student’s curriculum, why not plan an overseas excursion? Your experience will make it a lot easier for you to lead the tour, convince the parents and school board, and give your students more valuable lessons outside the classroom. If you need some assistance in the planning, contact our team and they will help you get started.
So teachers, we encourage you to go out there and discover the world – not only for yourself, but also for your students.