Being a teacher is hard. Like, really hard sometimes.
Of course you love your students and you believe in what you’re doing, which is the only thing that could possibly get you out of bed hours before the crack of dawn every day to rush to school (with an extra large coffee in-hand and a frozen lunch that you’ll probably never have time to heat up).
You stay long hours into the evening (or even sacrifice precious weekends) planning, grading, coaching, tutoring, mentoring, tackling your never-ending to-do list and constantly wearing one of the 97 million different hats that educators wear each day with grace and finesse. Well, mostly with grace and finesse, with the exception of that one time the stomach flu hit you in the middle of high-stakes state testing and for fear of leaving the room and invalidating the assessments you proceeded to (ever so quietly) vomit in the corner furthest from the test-taking children. Oh wait, that wasn’t you—it was me ¯_(ツ)_/¯
As a teacher, you’re always counting down to the next milestone of the year when you think life will get a little less busy (spoiler alert: it usually doesn’t). I can’t tell you how many times I told myself “It’s OK, just make it to next week. Things will settle down.” They never did.
So things won’t settle down, which you already know. However, you can do something with your students that will positively impact them in the forever way you want to: travel.
Here are four stats that will convince you traveling with your students is one of the most important things you can do as an educator:
- Students are more engaged—80% thought educational travel sparked greater interest in what they were learning in school
- Students are more academically successful—More than half of children who traveled achieved better grades
- More students pursue higher education opportunities—57% of people who traveled as children went to college
- Professionals who traveled as students report higher earnings—12% of adults who took domestic education trips during their youth earned 12% more than those who didn’t
Travel also fosters non-cognitive skills development in students who learn outside of the classroom.
As soon as students start chatting, and questioning, and daydreaming about the far-off corners of the world they’ll get to experience, their engagement is piqued and learning process has officially begun. You can capitalize on that by incorporating trip-related content in your classroom throughout the school year, and even after the program. The sooner you decide to travel, the sooner you’ll get your hands on Rustic’s educator’s guide, which includes lessons and activities to do with your students before to better prepare them for the experience (lesson planning made easy—score!).
Put these pre-trip educational resources to use early and often with your students. Jump-starting their minds in school will prime students for learning on the trip and deepen the impact of their experiences abroad. There are also post-trip resources designed to students process their travel experience when they return.
Creating and teaching lessons that last years after graduation, and (as cheesy as it sounds) making the world a better place—that’s why we’re educators. Traveling with your students is a surefire way to leave a lasting positive impact on their lives.
Visit Rustic Pathways Group Travel to learn more about creating the perfect trip for your students.
Britt worked at Rustic Pathways between 2013 and 2017. As a Princeton University undergraduate and a Teach for America corps member, Britt developed an enthusiasm for educating youth and international travel experiences. After teaching mathematics and obtaining a master’s degree in education at the University of Colorado, she brushed up her Arabic language skills to lead Rustic programs in Morocco.