TTS23 in the Galapagos Islands

TTS23 in the Galapagos Islands
From left to right: Scout, Lindsey, Sophie, Feyza, Erin, Caroline, Lena, Susannah, Charlotte, Rebecca, Allie, Hannah, Alizah, Maisie, Anne, Kate, Courtney

Monday, May 19, 2014

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Thank you vicarious supporters, cheerleaders, friends and family for embarking on this journey of The Traveling School - the 23rd semester - as unique as the 1st and as memorable as every semester in between. You trusted our school, our teachers and our mission to give your daughter a new perspective on learning, traveling and friendship. Your support continues to make TTS an amazing organization fueled by passion and curiosity for our surroundings. Thank you for calling, emailing, blogging and visiting the Bozeman office or the program overseas - your comments, questions, thoughts and stories fuel those of us behind the scenes and help us grow and develop our school. Thank you for stepping outside of the box, breaking away from routine and enduring the voyage of the semester. Thank you for inspiring us.

Conratulations to the newest TTS alumnae!
Aunge, Jennifer and Price

Thank you to friends and family of TTS23 for supporting your girls in their journey through Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia. Thank you for being on the other end of the phone or keyboard to listen and encourage them through challenges of  occasional sickness or sadness, and the stresses of an action-packed schedule. Thank you for also tolerating the times when phone calls and emails were scarce and you had to trust that your daughter was finding the support she needed from within our group and within herself.

Thank you students for throwing yourself into the unknown and being present in all the moments of the semester, for tolerating painfully early wake up times and long travel days and nights, for supporting each other through stress and homesickness, for putting forth genuine effort on traditional and unfamiliar assignments, for laughing and appreciating the humor in the good times as well as the not-so-good, for taking all types of risks - emotional, physical, language, social, and cultural, for allowing yourself to question and grow.

Thank you to the home office in Bozeman, past TTS teachers and students, The Traveling School board members, and to all the supporters of The Traveling School who make this meaningful educational experience possible.

Hugs from the fab 5 teachers!

It is the people of the Traveling School that have kept me coming back to the most challenging and most rewarding job each semester. Thank you to my math students for waking up before breakfast for extra practice and for backpacking graphing calculators through the mountains of the Cordillera Blanca. Thank you to my Spanish students for having the guts to make mistakes in speaking to locals in order to immerse yourselves in the culture and learn more Spanish than seemed possible at the semester's start. Thank you to all my students for reminding me to be be silly sometimes with handstand photos and hacky sack games. Thank you to my Fab 5 teacher team for supporting me and each other in order to create the TTS magic. Thank you to the home office, visiting instructors, and past TTS teachers for support and perspective. Thank you to the friends and family for missing your girls these months and allowing them this adventure. Thank you to all the people who taught us, guided us, and cared for us throughout our South American journey.

One of the most frustrating and beautiful things about being a teacher for The Traveling School is that my job is to plant seeds. This means that in four months I have time to turn your daughter's perceptions of herself and the world she lives in upside down, but that you get to see the effects. A thought, an action, a reflection will not come in front of me, but you, who will be around her for the rest of her life. You will experience the blossoming of these students. As a teacher I must trust that what we do in the field is enough, enough to add to the process you began and will continue to do, enough to inspire, change, and provide the critical tools for your daughters to become powerful women who critically engage with the world. Thank you for the time you gave us with your daughters. My greatest hope is that you cherish the time they spent with us as much as we did. 

Gratitude is a meaningful personal experience.  Too often in my life, I find that I do not take the time or energy to thank the important folks around me for their contributions to my success and/or happiness.  So I am glad that we are writing this blog, because there are people that deserve credit for supporting me on this grand adventure of TTS.  Thanks to the friends and family that supported me previous to and during the semester. I'd like to thank the team at the home office for their confidence and encouragement of my skills. Parents, I appreciate the trust that you gave us by sending your daughter into the unknown with us.  To the students of TTS23, a big thank you for making this semester an incredible learning experience for all involved. Your curiosity and energy have inspired me for three and a half months to push myself as a leader, mentor, and friend. (I feel like I'm on stage at the Oscars, and that the music is going to start playing soon...). I am grateful to the other teachers on the team, for their constant thoughtfulness, support, conversation and intelligence.  Thank you all for being sources of strength in a world with constantly changing environments. Last but not least, the people who will likely never read this post: thank you to the people of Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia who have unknowingly shaped and reformed my appreciation of this part of the world.

I am deeply grateful to have shared many meaningful and memorable experiences this semester with TTS23. A profound thank you to the students who afforded me the experience to learn alongside you and from you. Thank you for your thought-provoking questions and stellar work that kept and continues to keep me motivated and inspired.  I am confident that you will each not only continue to accomplish amazing feats, but also do so holding true to your values and ideals, living out answers to the questions Latin America raised for you. Thank you to the TTS23 parents, families, and friends for believing in your daughters and the program and trusting that your daughters' journeys were the worth the sacrifices. Thank you to fellow teachers for your support and encouragement and to the TTS office and board for your tireless commitment to such a valuable vision.  And, of course, mil gracias a  la gente de America Latina, who with their patience and example, allow us to begin to appreciate new perspectives. 

I remember first stumbling upon the TTS website last year around this time and not quite believing it could be possible. An all girls semester school that traveled to South America sounded too good to be true.  As the semester comes to an end, I of course now know that it is possible and it really is that good.  This is because of the many people that make it happen. I am grateful to the girls for embarking on this journey and giving up your comforts of home in order to challenge yourselves to learn about the world.  I want to thank you for smiling when we woke up for our 3:00 am “alpine starts,” for leaving all of your technology behind in order to be truly present with one another, and for letting class conversations be brought up again at dinner time because you wanted to know more.  I want to thank you for keeping alive my passion for Latin America as you learned the nuances of these new cultures.  I also want to thank you for bringing the teachers into your world of enthusiasm for learning, challenging us to rethink our own beliefs and consider new perspectives. Parents, I can’t thank you enough for allowing your daughters to have this experience. Thank you for trusting us with your favorite girls. Thank you teachers. I have observed you staying up late to write thoughtful comments on you students’ papers and waking up early the next day to explain a new concept before breakfast. I want to thank you for your patience, your selflessness, and your passion for the subjects you teach. I was also motivated by everyone who was not traveling with us, but whose energy and time went into making this semester what it was.  Thank you to everyone in the office for listening to us and trusting our decisions in the field. Thank you Aunge, Jennifer, Aunt Heather, and Rick for coming down to see us and for all of the support while you traveled alongside of us.  I will miss all of you, but this experience will stay with me long after we de-board the final plane.  

No comments:

Post a Comment