DC Teacher of the Year Perea Blackmon joined me recently to dish on how you can use travel as education, even if it’s been years since you’ve been in the classroom, and how 15 teachers will win a chance to travel the country of their choice!
Candace Rose: Why is travel so important when it comes to education?
Perea Blackmon: “Travel is a key component to education. Students in the classroom- the four walls are not going to give you the story. The textbooks are not going to give you the whole story. Students have to have the experience to get outside of the classroom and experience some of these things that they’re reading about in those textbooks firsthand. Those are going to be the memories that burn into their brain and last a lifetime. It’s one thing reading about and actually experiencing it. It’s crucial that students are engaged in field trips, as well as teachers being engaged in field trips so that we can bring back our experiences into the classroom.”
Candace Rose: Teachers have used travel as inspiration for learning for decades now. What can those of us who are no longer in school do to create our own personal educational field trip?
Perea Blackmon: “The program that I’m so excited about with Hilton Honors, Teacher Treks is actually a grant competition that Hilton has launched that is going to award 15 teachers the opportunity to travel to a country of their choice this summer. That experience is going to change so many lives including the life of a teacher. Getting that experience of being over in that country, living among the people visiting their classrooms and seeing how their educational structure is set up and just naturally being a part of that society and bringing that culture back to their students is going to be life changing. Videos, pictures and artifacts that they may collect, the children are going to start asking questions about what’s going on outside in the world and the questions are going to need answers so they’re going to go out and they’re going to need answers as they grow and they become citizens and enter into the workplace. It’s an experience that the books are never going to teach you, out in the world.”
Candace Rose: Do you have any additional tips or information you’d like to share?
Perea Blackmon: “You sure can. You can have anyone that’s listening to you that’s interested, the website is HHonors.com/TeacherTreks. So I implore everyone to go out and apply for one of those grants, and even if you’re not one of the 15 lucky winners, there are going to be 30 people that are going to receive $2500 grants to utilize within their classrooms for travel, cultural experiences and just getting out of the classroom to make sure students are very well rounded and are actually going to see what life has out there for them.