Hello from Washington, D.C. Not my usual hood, but my daughter lives here and I get to visit this amazing city.

My head is swirling with history and observations from 5 weeks of traveling in Eastern Europe and then back to visit family in NY and DC before heading home to California. On this trip the hubs and I asked each other' "Why do you travel?" My response after a gigantic pause:

To Understand Time.
To Be an Ambassador of Peace and Mend Cultural Misunderstandings.
To Get Out Of My Comfort Zone.
Understand History from Place and Culture. 
Finding Beauty EVERYWHERE.

I have an earlier post < > where I contemplate my judgment of what teachers ought to bring to their students. I used to be in a state of dismay, that so many of the teachers at my large high school grew up in the same place they taught. I used to think this was unfair to the students. Our community can be fairly provincial. For example, we are 65 miles north of San Francisco and many of our students have never been to the city. Even though we are 40 minutes from the beach, some have spent very little time there. (Our students have a wide variety of experience, from traveling to Mexico each year, to a few who have been to Europe and Washington DC, to those will go as far as the lake for the summer)

Many of our teachers went to the local Junior College and Cal State Campus. Very few are from UC’s (Including myself) or from prestigious universities. I used to think our students deserved teachers who were worldlier, more academically, “high brow.”

Then I had an epiphany, that the local teachers spoke the student’s language. They show the students what IS possible. They possibly do a better job of meeting them where they are at. Maybe I was the one that made them uncomfortable, always challenging the status quo.

Some teachers relate to their students by reading YA fiction, some play country (cough) music all.the.time., some are into super 
heroes, some are into shoes and fashion, and some are so cool, they surf before school.
I am not at all hip.

I travel.

Here are some photos to go along with the reasons:

To Understand Time:

400 BCE Wailing Wall Jerusalem, Israel

To Be an Ambassador of Peace and Mend Cultural Misunderstandings:

Muslim Ladies taking their Children to the Beach, Hertzalia, Israel

Ifran, a Muslim, gave us an all day tour of Jewish Sarajevo.

Understand History from Place and Culture:

Those are shrapnel holes outside our amazing apartment in Sarajevo received during the 1992-1995 war. (up to 350 + average missiles on civilian targets daily for over 1400 days)

Finding Beauty:

 Left: Old Jaffa port manhole cover, Tel Aviv.

Below: Love is Love.

To Get Out Of My Comfort Zone:

Konjic, Bosnia. River Rafting on the Neretva River. Jump from 6 meters. (Love mostly because it turns our notion of “Bosnia” on its head) 

What did you believe that you no longer believe about what makes a teacher effective?

What hobbies and/or interests give you “creds” with your students?