smiling teacher with a group of happy students

What Makes Teachers the Best Travelers?

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Teachers are one of the most crucial pillars in our society.  They identify the vocations of young people by getting to know them and sharing knowledge with them.  They work overtime to make sure their students are getting what they need to succeed in life. That’s quite a commission to fulfill.

But we’re going to share a secret with you:  teachers are the best travelers!  We’ve seen this truth borne out repeatedly, in our 5 decades of taking student groups on educational tours.

So, what makes teachers the best travelers?  Let’s find out.

Planning.

A skilled teacher knows that well-structured education lies in the planning.  While most of us have our feet up, teachers are planning lessons within an overarching framework of educational goals realized over time.

Teachers have a limited amount of classroom time to get to their educational goals and know how to use that time economically.  Planning is key to reaching their goals for students.

Education is a journey.  So, when teachers travel, they apply the same principles to their excursion that they do in the classroom.  They plan to get the most from every day.  They pack for contingencies and do so sparingly.

Curiosity.

Teachers across the K12 spectrum share a key quality – curiosity.  They’re not only curious about the world around them.  They’re curious about how their students will respond to what they’re teaching.  There’s a give and take in teaching in which the instructor is often instructed.  This is one of the most exciting aspects of teaching.

That same curiosity is part of what makes teachers the best travelers.  They’re as wide-eyed with fascination as their students are.  With the pool of knowledge they command, they have the ability to see beneath the surface of things and glean from travel experiences something richer and more valuable.

People skills.

Every successful traveler can interact effortlessly with the people they meet along the way.  Teachers are uniquely suited to this key aspect of travel because they’re working with hundreds of students, every year.

Those students turn over, from grade to grade and so, the teacher acclimatizes to new faces and personalities as a way of life.

Travel demands openness.  At the same time, savvy travelers assess people and situations honestly and quickly.  Teachers do that every day with their students.

They finesse conflicts, settle restlessness and interact with students where they stand.   People skills are at the heart of good teaching and they serve teachers when they venture out into the world to travel.

What makes teachers the best travelers?  A combination of qualities that creates success in the classroom.  Planning, curiosity, and people skills are three of the most uniformly desirable traits in educators.

They’re also three of the most desirable traits in travelers, when you think about it.

Junior Tours – the teacher’s educational tour provider.

At Junior, we work with teachers from all 50 States.  Founded by a teacher, we create unique educational tours that work from educator goals.  Contact us for an itinerary and quote.

students on a field trip in a museum listening

For Teachers – Pre and Post Field Trip Planning Tips

By Travel

When you take your students on a field trip, it’s much more than a day at the park.  While you’re anxious to provide them with a fun experience, you’re also intent on cementing what they’re learning with a value-added experience. For teachers, pre and post field trip planning can make all the difference to the quality of the excursion.  Knowing what you want them to retain while they’re out there and having a plan for mobilizing that learning afterwards, are key aspects of successful field trips.

So, this post is for teachers – pre and post field trip planning tips.  How you frame your field trip before and after you go can add educational value and galvanize your students’ retention of the subject matter.

Seeding the experience.

Today’s classroom is supported by technology.  Wherever you’re taking your class, you know there’s going to be a detailed website to explore.  Assigning each of your students to a subject page on that website and making them “field trip authorities” is a fun way to offer them a chance to both learn and lead.

Talk to your kids about the place they’re visiting and how important it is for them to represent their school with dignity and decorum.  Instilling in them the reality that they’ll be ambassadors for their school and town is a great way to dispense with regulatory guidelines that may seem oppressive.  Casting them in the role of emissaries is another way to help them learn about leadership.

Introduce your class to terms they may hear during their field trip.  This boosts their vocabulary and trains them to see opportunity in personal development; opportunity that opens doors to even more knowledge.

Cementing the experience.

After you’ve returned from your field trip and you’re back in the classroom, it’s important to cement what’s been learned in the minds of your students.  Holding an intentional “open forum” on the day’s events about what was seen and learned creates a sharing environment in which your students gain value from hearing other perspectives.

Extend the experience of having represented their school by asking your students to write letters to leadership at the museum, event or attraction you attended.  Letters should thank these people by sharing thoughts on the unique value of the field trip’s subject.

Create a media release to local news outlets, describing your class’s experience and sharing with the media the value of the trip and its subject.  Everyone can get involved in this.  If the group has photographs, the best of these can be selected by the class and included with the media release.

Field trips that matter, with Junior Tours.

At Junior Tours, we create memorable educational opportunities for students.  Field trips that matter stick with students, enhancing education by bringing it to life.

Since 1967, Junior Tours has been working with teachers across the USA to help students reach higher with outstanding field trips and tours that support education with the thrill of discovery.  To find out more, request an itinerary and quote.

London

Top 7 High School Senior Trip Destinations In 2017

By Travel

These top 7 high school senior trip destinations in 2017 offer seniors experiences they’ll remember their whole lives.  Let’s go!

1. London, England.

London offers visitors big city bustle, coupled with the echoes of a long and noble history.  It’s the home of the Queen of England and the seat of English government.

From the regal splendour of Buckingham Palace to the sober gravitas of 10 Downing Street, London offers high school seniors an adventure through time in a great European city.

2. Quebec City, Canada.

Founded in 1608, Quebec City is the oldest French-speaking city in the Americas.  Its past is one which tells the story of Canada and the destiny of our continent.

From a battle between empires on the Plains of Abraham to the majestic Chateau Frontenac and its commanding vista of the St. Lawrence River, Quebec City is a feast for adventurous seniors.

3. New York City, NY.

One of the world’s most kinetic cities, the Big Apple is a delight for high school seniors.  Offering the full sweep of our nation’s story as the world’s melting pot, the neighbourhoods established by those arriving at Ellis Island were built on diversity.

From the “Crossroads of the World” at Times Square to the towering art deco grandeur of the Empire State Building, New York beckons seniors with its wealth of lore, history, and adventure.

4. Niagara Falls, Canada.

If you’ve ever wondered what 4 million cubic feet of water tumbling through space looked, sounded and felt like, this famous destination is where you can find out.  Nearby Toronto is Canada’s largest English-speaking city and a cultural and financial powerhouse.

Combining these two destinations brings high school seniors the Canadian urban experience and an up-close and personal encounter with a natural wonder they’ll never forget.

5. Boston, MA.

Rich in historical significance, Boston is the site of the Freedom Trail and it all begins at the famed Boston Common.  The notorious tax revolt known as the Boston Tea Party is one of the city’s most acclaimed moments in the American story.

It’s here that Henry David Thoreau penned the reflective masterpiece, Walden and where the Battle of Lexington and Concord raged – the first of the Civil War.

6. Chicago, IL.

American poet, Carl Sandburg, described Chicago as the “city of the big shoulders”.  As the second largest city in the USA, Chicago’s shoulders are broad, indeed.

With its outstanding architecture and thriving cultural scene, Chicago is a singular experience of the urban face of our nation.

7. New Orleans, LA.

The Crescent City’s beating heart is the legendary French Quarter, with its lacy wrought iron balconies.  Here, seniors will sense that they’re enveloped in a past, yet present.

The nearby wetlands offer an excursion among graceful Spanish moss and a unique eco-system, where seniors can experience the life of the Cajun people who live there.

These top 7 high school senior trip destinations are what we specialize in at Junior Tours. Contact us for a free sample itinerary and share the adventure.

Things to consider when selecting a student tour itinerary

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The tour is booked and the fundraising machine has sputtered into life.  Now that you know where you’re going, who’s coming and what you need to get there, your next move is to plan the perfect itinerary, offering your students an exceptional educational experience.

There are so many things to consider when selecting a student tour itinerary.  Here’s a brief overview that will serve to guide you, moving forward.

Identifying your logistical needs.

A lot depends on who’s in your group, how they relate to one another and what they’re up to.  If your group is active, you’ll be able to feature much more in the way of strenuous walking tours and perhaps outings with outdoor recreation, for example.

How your group of students relate to one another is an important consideration when assigning rooms with your tour provider.  You don’t want to put people in a room together who don’t get along.  Knowing your students well is your best defense against unfortunate personality conflicts, in this respect.

Under the rubric of “knowing your students”, you’ll also find key logistical considerations like dietary needs, including flood allergies.  Make sure your tour operator is aware of these, so they can make your accommodations provider aware.

Learning goals.

Educators have a clear vision of what they want their students to learn on their tour.  Discussing learning objectives with your operator will provide important information to craft the best itinerary possible with respect to your goals.

Everything on a student tour isn’t about strict programming.  Allowing your student opportunities to experience the culture of your destination (and the language, where appropriate) can provide a rich learning context they’ll benefit from for the rest of their lives.

Make sure your operator is aware of your vision in as much detail as possible and watch your dream itinerary unfold in expert hands.

The road less travelled.

While the beaten track will offer your students the chance to experience iconic sights and historical monuments, the road less travelled is often just as instructive, if not more so.

Consider offering students the chance to see something out of the ordinary.  Your tour operator can fill you in on offbeat locations at your destination that will dazzle your students, making them feel like they’re in on a secret no one else knows.

Making time to take time.

Remember to schedule down time and fun time, as well as educational content.  The more diverse your itinerary is, the more fun your students are going to have.

They’re young people.  While you need to provide them with rich learning experiences, you also want to build fun and rest into your itinerary.

Junior Tours – the itinerary builders.

At Junior Tours, we’ve been building memorable itineraries for student tours since 1967.  This brief overview of things to consider when selecting a student tour itinerary is just the start.

When you go with Junior, you go with the best.  Contact us for a quote and sample itinerary.  We’re the experts who put the world at your feet.

Smart packing tips for student travel in 2017

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The tour is planned.  The students are excited.  But young people may have never had the opportunity to experience travel.  Packing is a whole new world to them.  Sometimes, your young charges need some good advice, when it comes to packing what they need on a student trip.

We’re offering these smart packing tips for student travel in 2017 as a service to educators and parents planning a student trip.  Feel free to print them off and offer them to your students as part of the total student travel experience.

What do I really need?

Experienced travellers know that smart packing is economical packing.  Pack what you really need.  We know that’s a tall order when you’re excited about going somewhere you’ve never been, but we can’t stress it enough.

Do you need those towering heels?  Probably not.  You’re going to be walking – a lot.  Towering heels may look snazzy, but they’re not very practical for travel.  Comfortable footwear is what you want.  One pair of dressier shoes and one pair of rugged walking shoes are probably enough, depending on the climate.

And that is key.  Take into consideration the climate of the place you’re travelling to and the season and pack accordingly.

Keep it versatile.

Because you’re packing economically, you need to think about how your clothes go together.  Choose items that mix and match well and are durable.

For example, jeans go with everything, but you’ll also need dress pants/a skirt for less casual occasions.  Remember to include items like sweaters, t-shirts and lightweight jackets that can be layered with other pieces.

Dark colors are always best for travel, because they’re much better at hiding spills (which are a common travel hazard).  Make sure that whatever you take coordinates well with other items you’re packing.

Lay out your clothing and see what goes best together, taking into consideration comfort and durability.  Those skinny jeans are awesome, but are they comfortable?  Be brutal!

And that brings us to choosing practicality over fashion.

Be practical.

We know you want to look your best and put your best foot forward.  Just remember that you’re going to be very active for the duration of your trip.  That means sacrificing a little fashion in favor of practicality.

You may love your fashion items, but do those sneakers look like their going to stand up to all the walking you’ll be doing?  Are they going to stay looking clean after you’ve been tramping over a Civil War battlefield or through the streets of New York City?

Ask yourself.  Then give yourself an honest answer.

Junior Tours.

These basic smart packing tips for student travel in 2017 are offered in the interest of ensuring you have the best experience possible.  Packing economically for versatility and practicality is a reward in itself.

Remember – you’ll want to leave a little room for a few cherished souvenirs!

Junior Tours has been creating exceptional trips for students since 1967.  Contact us for a quote and sample itinerary.  Let us put the world at your feet!