Saturday, August 31, 2013

An unexpected result

When I first heard about the Fund for Teachers grant, I instantly began to imagine ways that I could utilize those kind of resources. I did some research and before I knew it, I was writing this intense grant proposal to attend a two-week long seminar in Austria. While preparing myself for the grant-writing process, I read and reread the materials provided. I found the mission statement of Fund for Teachers to be very helpful.
"Fund for Teachers enriches the personal and professional growth of teachers by recognizing and supporting them as they identify and pursue opportunities around the globe that will have the greatest impact on their practice, the academic lives of their students and on their school communities."
Professional growth is something that I actively pursue. I have attended many professional development workshops, seminars, and conferences. I always gain insight on my profession as a world language teacher and increased creative flow of ideas and best practices for when I return to the classroom and greater school community.

But this time it was different. For the first time in a long time, I expanded on a personal level. The previous school year had been a particularly challenging one. I experienced many changes and conflicts from big to small. By the time May rolled to an end, I was wiped. Really and truly squeezed dry. I felt thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread.

Then, in June with an awesome colleague of mine, I took a group of students to Europe for ten days. It was great. We had lots of fun and several times along the journey, I even think the kids were gently surprised by how much they had learned.

Bavarian dancing lessons, Munich 2013
After the trip with students, I came home for a few days and then was off again. During the seminar time, I was completely immersed in Austrian culture and life. As we traveled from city to city, I learned so much about Austrian...


symbol of the Hapsburg Empire, Vienna, 2013
Recreated portion of the Beethovenfries, The Secession, 2013
Schnitzel with a tart berry sauce, Innsbruck, 2013
Vienna, 2013
Ethnic food market in Vienna, 2013
Garden at Castle Eggenberg, Graz, 2013
...language, music, economics, politics, and the list goes on and on. My brain and my bookshelves are now crammed with information, images, artifacts, and experiences that I am incorporating into lessons and activities for my students. Did I mention how great it was?

I literally ended my grant trip on a mountaintop!
I don't know if it can get any better than that.

And then reality set in. My initial work days began with meetings and never-ending lists of emails and syllabi and unit plans and unpacking of boxes and ordering of books and supplies and ....and ..... and.....

And then something whispered inside of me, "Even though you aren't physically there on the mountaintop, you can still be on the mountaintop. Peaceful, blissful, stress-free and ready to tackle whatever bumps come on your road."

So, thank you from the bottom of my heart, Fund for Teachers, for giving me my mountaintop, my coffeehouse, my orchestra concert, my gardens, my Klimt, my castles, and....and....and....

When the going gets tough, the tough go to their mountaintop.
Garden in Innsbruck, 2013


1 comment:

  1. Beautiful photos, especially of you on the mountain top!