Teacher of the Month – November 2013
Congratulations to Jack Green from Westwood High School, Round Rock ISD in Austin, Texas!
Jack was chosen for his commitment to incorporating educational travel experiences throughout his performance tours.
What do you teach and/or what is your title?
How long have you been at this school?
Is your school a high school or middle school?
Have you traveled domestically or abroad before you chaperoned the ETA programs at your school? If so, when and where?
Our trips have been in the continental US and focused on performance, educational value and entertainment.
What are your favorite things about traveling?
Sharing the experience of new places with my students and getting to perform in unique and memorable venues.
Why do you feel your school was interested in ETA Programs?
We were looking for a quality travel group to work with our program.
Were domestic/international travel programs a part of the school culture before your trips with ETA?
We have always traveled in the US. Our community believes in the importance of student travel and performance.
What is the value of taking students on an educational tour?
Students in some cases experience different places for the first time. When you travel you realize that you are not the center of the universe and that there is so much to offer in other places.
How many years have you taken students on a trip program with ETA?
We have traveled to Washington D.C. and Chicago with ETA.
How do you feel these trips have impacted your students?
We plan trips based on the performance experience, the educational opportunities as well as the entertainment experience. It is important to provide these elements so that we create lifelong memories that students look back on.
Where have you gone?
New York, Orlando, L.A., Chicago, Washington D.C., South Padre Island
Washington D.C. was a fantastic trip. We were invited and marched in the Cherry Blossom Festival Parade in downtown D.C. What a fantastic experience for our students to get to showcase their talents right in the middle of our most famous city.
Do you find that incorporating educational activities into your trips brings added value? If so, why?
It is not and added value, but a necessity. I believe you owe it to both your students and community.
What advice would you give a fellow teacher interested in planning an educational tour?
- Start early and have a general plan for what you want the trip to look like.
- Try to think of every detail ahead of time so that as the sponsor you can relax and enjoy the trip and your students as well.
- Be flexible and know that even with a very thought out itinerary things will change.
- Develop a relationship with key parents months before your trip so that you know who you can count on.
How do these trips compare to your previous travel experiences?
I was looking for a tour company that would work in partnership and that shared my views on the importance of trip organization. That is the key. ETA proved that. Things will happen on trips. ETA adapted to those changes and made things work. Michelle Gordon and her professional staff were “hands on” and readily accessible at all times.