Snorkel With the Fishes: The Island School, Bahamas
What it is: Located on Cape Eleuthera, The Island School is an educational oasis, where during the school year, children learn about the life sciences firsthand. And every summer, educators too are invited to visit the Island School’s sand-swept shores—in a weeklong Teachers’ Conference that includes courses ranging from marine life to scuba diving.
Dates: August 5–12
Cost: $900 (plus travel expenses)
To learn more: www.islandschool.org
Why you should go: Discover sea urchins, coral reefs, and life underwater. Now is your chance—the Island School is offering full scholarships to two Instructor readers. To apply, write a letter explaining why The Island School should choose you. E-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your teaching history and contact info.
Go on a Safari: GLOBE Training, Kenya
What it is: GLOBE Training, a special program for teachers offered through Holbrook Education, is a unique opportunity to learn about Africa firsthand. You’ll gaze out on the Kenyan landscape on safari, and meet local community members who will teach you about their traditions, arts, and foods, as well as about the complex issues of sustainable development.
Dates: June 15–29
Cost: $3,797 (includes airfare between London and Nairobi).
To learn more: www.holbrooktravel.com/pages/educationexpeditions
Why you should go: After seeing elephants and giraffes in the wild, imagine how much learning and excitement you’ll bring back to your own students.
Adventure for Free: The Earthwatch Institute, Worldwide
What it is: Earthwatch Institute offers educators fully-funded fellowships for the ultimate hands-on learning. You’ll work with scientists doing field research in conservation on one of 130 projects around the world. When the Earthwatch acceptance comes in, you’ll be even more glad you’re a teacher.
Cost: FREE (Some travel expenses)
To learn more: Visit www.earthwatch.org to learn about Earthwatch projects or download an application. Deadlines are rolling, but submitting an application before March 1st should improve your chances.
Why you should go: It’s the chance of a lifetime! You might find yourself tracking peccaries in Brazil’s Pantanel wetland, or digging up ancient relics in Spain. Plus, professional development credits are available through Bank Street College.
Calling All Indiana Joneses: Archaelogical Dig, Alabama
What it is: The University of Alabama Museum Expedition offers weeklong expeditions to an archaeological excavation at Moundville, a Mississippian Indian site.
Dates: June 4–8, 11–15, 18–22, 25–29
Cost: $400 per session
To learn more: Visit www.amnh.ua.edu, call (205) 348-7550, or e-mail email@example.com to register.
Why you should go: Your unit on dinosaurs, Native-American prehistory, or the pharaohs of Egypt will spring to life once you’ve had the chance to work on an archaeological dig of your own.
Give Your Kids the Moon: McDonald Observatory, Texas
What it is: The McDonald Observatory of the University of Texas in Austin offers five 20-hour accredited courses designed for teachers at every grade level. The observatory is located in the beautiful Davis Mountains in West Texas.
Dates: June 18–July 29
To learn more: www.mcdonaldobservatory.org
Why you should go: To take hands-on courses in science and mathematics (aligned with the standards)—then practice your newly acquired talents under the Observatory’s dark skies. Nationally recognized experts in astronomy will lead the way. And thanks to NASA, enticing courses such as “Deciphering Stars” and “White Dwarfs and the Age of our Galaxy” are free of charge!
Hike Acadia National Park: College of the Atlantic, Maine
What it is: Few summer professional development courses beat those at College of the Atlantic near Bar Harbor, which balance fieldwork, seminar discussion, and fun in a gorgeous setting on the Maine coast. Choose from a variety of courses in the life sciences and environmental studies, including several that merge science, writing, and art.
Dates: June 24–July 31 (One or two-week sessions available)
Cost: One-week sessions start at $680.
To learn more: www.coa.edu/html/summerprograms
Why you should go: Educators who have been to College of the Atlantic say it’s “an amazing summer camp for teachers.” You’ll explore new subject material and add to your teaching tool kit, all while making new teacher friends from all across the country and enjoying those great Maine lobsters. Your work will be well rewarded with up to four graduate credits offered through College of the Atlantic.
Revamp Your Writing Workshop: The National Writing Project, USA
What it is: The National Writing Project has sites all over the country where teachers come together for professional development activities and programs that foster improvements in teaching and learning of writing. It’s the premier effort at improving writing programs in America’s schools. At their local summer institute, participants examine their classroom practice, conduct research, and develop their own writing skills.
Dates: July 5–31
Cost: FREE fellowships available
To learn more: Go to www.writingproject.org to find a project near you!
Why you should go: You’ll rediscover poetry, you’ll learn new and innovative ways to integrate technology into writing, such as blogs, hypertext stories, and more. You’ll tap into a network of extraordinary writing teachers.
See the Giant Tortoises: Save the Rainforest, Galapagos
What it is: The nonprofit organization Save the Rainforest offers high-quality educational trips for students to the Galapagos, Costa Rica, and other tropical forest destinations. Teachers who lead an expedition travel free.
To learn more: Visit www.saverfn.org or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why you should go: It’s the Galapagos! Your journey will not only be an invaluable learning experience, but an opportunity to contribute to the preservation of our rainforests.
Immerse Yourself in Spanish: Guatemala Experience, Antigua
What it is: At this summer program hosted by the University of Washington, teachers live with Guatemalan families while improving or perfecting Spanish language skills, and learning about Guatemalan culture and history.
Dates: July 23–August 9
Cost: $1,899 (plus travel expenses)
To learn more: www.outreach.washington.edu/k12/spanish
Why you should go: You’ll visit local museums, Mayan and colonial ruins, and traditional festivities all organized through the program. Study abroad isn’t just for students anymore!