Students in Bryce Canyon National Park

“We cannot protect something that we do not love, we cannot love what we do not know, and we cannot know what we do not see. Or hear. Or sense.”

This quote by author Richard Louv* beautifully illustrates the core values of educational travel in the lives of young people. Each of you, as educators or mentors to a younger generation, have had an experience in your personal history which inspires you to do what you do. Take a moment to think back to what that impactful experience was... it wasn’t just a great lecture, or a fantastic worksheet, or a great score on a test, it was something that you saw or did – something that you experienced with your senses that lit a fire inside of you. Do you remember what it was?

Perhaps that experience was your first visit to a National Parkwhere you felt overwhelmed with nature’s grandeur and yet intimately connected with the landscape. Maybe it was your 8th grade Washington, D.C. field tripwhere you were away from home for the first time and were inspired by walking in the footsteps of our nation’s forefathers. It might have been a service-learning trip where you traveled a great distance at your own expense to volunteer your time for the well being of people you had never met before. Or maybe the first Internationalpassport stamp you earned as you explored the sights, smells, sounds, and flavors of a far-off land.

Regardless of destination, it’s that early experience that stays with you and gives you direction in your adult life. That experience ignited a passion in you that you feel the need to share with others – be it in the classroom, in informal educational settings, or with your friends and family. Your purpose as an educator came to you through an authentic and meaningful experience that is almost always connected to the world beyond the classroom walls. This is the essence of educational travel and experiential learning. This is the heart and soul of Grand Classroom.

We stand as a resource for you to pay forward what a teacher, mentor, family member, or friend once provided to you – the opportunity to experience the world through travel and the chance to be changed by that experience. This is what Grand Classroom can help you provide to your students.

Through this blog we will be highlighting some of our favorite large-scale field trip destinations and experiences for teachers and students. We will explore the best of the National Parks, our Nation’s Capital, historic cities, arts and cultural centers, and exciting international destinations. You will learn about current events and curriculum connections related to our most popular student adventures. We will share many pro-tips from our decades of experience help make your student travel experience as low stress as possible. You will meet the amazing members of the Grand Classroom family who make these trips happen and some of our teacher partners who have traveled the globe with us. Most importantly, we will try to remind you of the steps on your own path that led you into your profession and the experiences that ignited your passion so you can do the same for your students.

Do you remember what that experience was for you? Let us know, we would love to hear from you.

Please enjoy our bi-monthly blog posts and feel free to share them with your colleagues and friends. If you have a specific topic related to your upcoming Grand Classroom student adventure that you want us to highlight, do not hesitate to reach out. If you are interested in learning more about our educational tours and student adventures you can get more info here!

-Gregg W – Dec 2019

*Richard Louv (2012). “The Nature Principle: Reconnecting with Life in a Virtual Age”