Not all knowledge can be gained from a book. Albert Einstein once said, “Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it.” This statement is of course open to interpretation, but at the core of his message is the fact that you acquire wisdom through experience – and what better way for both students and teachers to gain it than through the experience of travel?
At GROUND Asia, we work with local communities across Asia to create customized journeys that strengthen leadership skills, build resilience and teach cross-cultural understanding to school students and undergraduates, but at the same time, our travel programs are an important learning experience for the teachers and educators who accompany them.
As an educator on one of our study tours, you are playing the role of ‘tour leader’ with your students. It’s a role in which you will be challenged on a number of fronts; dealing with such issues as your students’ health and safety, logistics and planning, briefings and debriefings – all concerns that take you beyond the bounds of classroom teaching.
Ultimately, it can be highly rewarding for you as a teacher to help guide your students through the kind of challenges they meet outside the classroom. Not only will it strengthen your relationship with them as individuals, the challenges you face will boost your confidence as a teacher and strengthen your skills as a leader. Educational travel can also provide you with a practical knowledge of your subject, thus making your lessons more engaging for the students.
At GROUND Asia we have extensive experience in developing travel programs with schools and universities and are ready to support you as teachers and educators on these educational journeys. Leading a group of students abroad may seem daunting, but the benefits for students and teachers alike have been well documented and attested to by those who take part.
Based on the testimony of real teachers, here are a few other ways these journeys can really help to make you better educators in the classroom:
Better Communication with Students
Educational travel can create a better understanding of cultural differences and help to break down communication barriers between teachers and their students – including their parents. As classrooms become more culturally diverse, it’s important that educators maintain a world perspective in order to create a classroom environment that encourages proper communication and stimulating dialogue.
Patience and Empathy in the Classroom
Traveling throws you in at the deep end, where you quickly learn some important skills. At times there will be long queues and tortuous transportation delays that teach you patience. At other times you may face emergencies, or nerve-racking moments where you need to think on your feet. It goes without saying that patience and understanding are integral to becoming an effective teacher. Studies have shown the more well-traveled a teacher is the better students will learn from them.
Travel Creates Enthusiasm
Students can tell when a teacher has a keen passion for the subject he or she is teaching. The more passionate a teacher is about a subject, the more likely it is that you will hold the interest of your students. If you are speaking from first-hand experience – linking your travels with the subject matter – you can keep the attention of your students better than any textbook could do. Through your travels you become a storyteller – leaving an indelible impression on your students.
Continuing the Learning Process
Study tours enable teachers and educators to learn from and engage with business leaders, teaching peers, government officials and many students from other cultures. These opportunities to learn from other educators and access real-world case studies, provides a unique opportunity to develop new classroom studies and teaching material. Networking with professionals and educators abroad also provides teachers will valuable access to resources that can be used to broaden their own research and improve career prospects.
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GROUND Asia partners with communities across Asia to assist in their sustainable development. The communities we work with are our clients. To meet their expectations, we empower them through mutually beneficial programs to ensure their development needs come first.