Failure: it is a word that carries a negative atmosphere, but it doesn’t always have to be that way. Failure is not an easy thing to accept, but since we experience failure as part of the learning process, we should learn to deal with it to make the best out of it. As a senior, I have experienced failure in many of my courses. For example, when I do terribly on a test or get a bad grade on a written assignment. Though it is difficult to accept the fact that the bad grade affects our chances of earning a certain grade in the course, we should try to view the failure as a learning experience.
One day, as I was browsing the Internet for some inspirational quotes, I came across a quote which I found really motivational,
“Write it as a failure, but read it as an experience. – Unknown”
In other words, we can’t change the result of an event, but we can change how we view that event.
The moment you find out that the result is not something you expected, you feel disappointment. Even moments later, that feeling might still linger in your heart. Though it is alright to feel that way, you should try not to keep that feeling in your heart too long because it can affect your work in the future and your attitude overall. What you want to try to do is quickly move on from that event. One thing I do to move on is to I tell myself,
“There’s nothing you can change about it”,
“What’s been done is done”,
“Let’s make the best of the remaining opportunities/quizzes/tests.”
Basically, what I try to do is focus my mind to look forward and picture a bright future instead of lingering in the past and reminding myself of my failures.
Everyone experiences failure and if you deal with it correctly, it can change from being your breaking point to your stepping stone. Don’t ever feel like your future is gone based on a few events. Simply think about it this way, that one event of failure is just a tiny spot on the timeline of your line. Instead of thinking about that failure, think about the remaining parts of your timeline that you can fill with success. I learned in sociology that many teens failed to see the bigger picture in life which is why they are usually not able to accept failure easily. The ability to look at things from a bigger perspective isn’t entirely impossible for a teenager to acquire, but it takes time and experience to develop which is why as we grow up, we mature in our perspective. If you are currently feeling as though you are in a slump like everything is going wrong, do not worry and simply take things one at a time. Try your best, take pride in your work, learn from your mistakes, and look towards a bright future!
If you enjoyed this post read more from Janelle Here
Chris Evert Keynotes Graduation Ceremony for K12 International Academy Class of 2014
Tennis pro lauds online school graduates in virtual live-streamed ceremony
HERNDON, Va., July 3, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — K12 International Academy, an accredited, online private school open to students in grades K-12 worldwide, honored its graduates during a 2014 ceremony that occurred last Friday, June 27. Unlike traditional graduation ceremonies, this one took place virtually and was live-streamed from K12‘s headquarters in Herndon, Va. The keynote speech was provided by renowned tennis player Chris Evert. More than 130 students were honored for their scholastic achievement and awarded their diplomas during the live-streamed event.
Students and families who logged in early were greeted with a prelude of student artwork and music, until commencement began at 11 a.m. At that time the ceremony kicked off with the Pledge of Allegiance, led by Lt. Colonel White, a recently retired United States Air Force pilot and the father of K12 student Madeline White.
Succeeding Lt. Colonel White was his daughter, Madeline White, who led her class in the National Anthem. A top student, Madeline enrolled at K12 during its first year as a curriculum provider. Madeline and K12 began their educational journey together, and now many years later, Madeline says she is happy to have received such an incredible education, which has given her the flexibility to pursue her numerous outside interests. While enrolled at K12 International Academy, Madeline participated in a partnership between the school and University of Maryland University College, which allowed her to earn multiple credits toward her higher education. This fall, she will be attending the College of William and Mary, where she hopes to study International Relations and participate in a study abroad program at St. Andrews University in Scotland.
Keynote speaker Chris Evert addressed students and their families during the online ceremony. The winner of 18 Grand Slam titles and former No. 1 player in the world, Evert made her mark as one of the premiere women athletes of all time at a very young age. Voted the AP “Female Athlete of the Year” on four occasions and the recipient of numerous other awards, Evert was inducted, unanimously, into the Tennis Hall of Fame in 1995. She has also been rated No. 50 among all North American Athletes of the 20th century by a worldwide vote of sports journalists. Since retiring from the courts in 1989, Evert has devoted her time to her family, her charity, which has raised over $22 million for at-risk women and children, and the Evert Tennis Academy in Boca Raton, Florida.
Do Hee Kim, Valedictorian of the Class of 2014, and Olivia Konen, Salutatorian of this year’s graduating class, were honored during an awards presentation by Miriam Rube, Head of School at K12 International Academy.
The ceremony culminated with the presentation of diplomas and closing remarks Rube. “We are those who built the bridge. We are those who mend the cracks that wear with age. You are charged with reaching a goal beyond the trespass. You learned with no walls and no bells. You established relationships with no borders. If the world would act upon your example of study, peace would be more readily attainable.”
While the accomplishment of a high school diploma is an achievement in itself, the vast majority of students from the K12 International Academy Class of 2014 have chosen to take their studies to the next level. This year’s graduating class has been accepted to more than 100 colleges and universities, including College of William and Mary, Arts Educational Schools London, Loyola University, Drexel University, Emerson College, Hofstra University, University of Pittsburgh, Louisiana Tech University, United States Naval Academy, Trinity University, University of Edinburgh, Pepperdine University, McGill University and more. Combined, the Class of 2014 earned $709,715 in scholarships for the 2014-2015 school year.
“K12 International Academy is home to a diverse population of students spanning the globe. Students interact and develop relationships with their peers around the world with varied interests and talents. Class Connects, Virtual Field Trips, clubs, and College Counseling sessions are only a few examples of where these connections are made and established for our students, their teaches and academic coaches,” said Rube. “With shared experiences their differences are celebrated and they find common ground in their future plans and life goals. The atmosphere we create aligns with the mission of K12 and the International Academy as we are committed to bringing individualized learning to all kinds of minds, and removing barriers that keep children from reaching their true potential. This global perspective will hopefully translate in their lives after graduation, as they meet and interact with others around the world.”
K12 International Academy educators provide the individualized learning tools students need including instruction, guidance, and support, and they regularly interact with students and parents via e-mail, web-based classrooms, online discussions, phone, and face-to-face meetings. “Our approach is to implement best practices in teaching focused on student learning and outcomes that move children forward,” said Rube. “Well beyond students’ graduation, our faculty and support staff are committed to serving as guides to a lifetime of learning.”
K12 International Academy
The K12 International Academy from K12 Inc. (NYSE: LRN), the nation’s largest provider of proprietary curriculum and online education programs, is an accredited private online school with an individualized approach to learning that frees children to reach their full potential. With award-winning curriculum, an amazing support team, and an energetic school community, we help students around the world in grades K-12 learn in the ways that are right for them, nurturing a joy for learning and a passion to pursue their interests. More information can be found at http://www.icademy.com.
If you were like me you could have, and possibly did, spend hours scrolling through the pictures of father’s on Facebook, and Twitter this weekend. It made me think about the many father’s here at K¹² International Academy–They have added yet another job to their list of Daddy duties, a learning coach. Many of the Father’s here at K¹² International Academy have found time in their schedule to either help Mom with a particular academic subject after work, or, in some cases have taken the lead in helping to coach their child to success along with their teachers. These extraordinary Dad’s may manage multiple children while holding down an office job, or juggling work while at home. One of our Dad’s, a soldier overseas, offers help via Skype every night not just for his child but also his wife who is working with our award winning curriculum and speaks English as a second language.
The role of the Father is often overlooked in the virtual classroom, and this Father’s day, here at K¹² International Academy, we salute you! Happy Father’s day to our K¹² International Academy Dad’s!
With the fourth of July right around the corner, soon there will be nothing but stars and stripes celebrated and shared on Social Media such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and more. Everyone will be wearing clothing and buying up fireworks to celebrate our Nations independence.
But what is Flag Day? In 1916 we marked June 14 as the day to celebrate our Nations Flag and adopt the stars and stripes forever.
For some fun Flag Trivia check out our LEARNLIFTOFF Blog HERE
“He was your mother’s father”
That’s all that I was told
Of the young man pictured by the tank
In Europe’s snow and cold.
He dreamed of building bridges
That spanned the waters wide
Yet when his country called him,
He put his dreams aside.
The men called him Captain,
As he led the tank brigade
Into the Nazi’s war of hell
In Belgium’s frozen glade.
His life-long friend
killed by his side
He could not pause to grieve
The tank guns roared endlessly
Until at last they ceased.
The Allies won the battle long.
He then could mourn his friend.
The soldiers and their armored beasts
Turned east toward Hitler’s den.
In early spring of forty-five,
Troops halted their fast pace
And viewed the bloody handiwork
Of the Aryan master race.
The bodies were not soldiers
Innocent, one and all
Yet they lay upon the ground
Behind barbed wire so tall.
The war was finally over
Some soldiers did come back
The Captain built bridges long and wide
That spanned the waters black.
The Captain married his only love.
A family he did raise.
He never spoke of war again
Nor of his soldier days.
After forty years had passed,
Cancer struck and slayed
The Captain who served his country well
And was so strong and brave.
“He was your mother’s father”
That young man in the snow,
Who lived and died with courage,
A man I would never know.
Mike made the following video slide show as a Christmas present for his grandmother in 2010. She and his grandfather had been married for 44 years before he died in 1991, and she had been a widow for almost 20 years by then. Grandma had given Mike his grandfather’s Army trunk the previous year. It had not been opened by anyone since 1946. When he opened the trunk in 2009, he discovered a trove of World War II treasures – hundreds of pictures, a detailed diary, a complete dress uniform, a combat helmet, medals, and many other items from a time never imagined by people my age. Slowly, Mike pieced together the numerous battles fought by the 4th Armored Division and their inadvertent discovery of a concentration camp in Germany. The last part of the video shows Mike’s grandfather as an old man, more than 40 years after the war ended, as he raised the American flag at his house, and then on the 40th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge tour in Bastogne, Belgium.
Mike Weinstein is a graduating Senior at K¹² International Academy and one of teachers shared this about Mike:
I was both humbled and honored by the opportunity to be involved with such a moving project. Mike is one of the brightest and most insightful students that I have had during my teaching career. He has a very bright future ahead and I know that he will do wonderful things at Texas A&M and beyond. ~Anthony Neely
For more information on this story visit Mike’s website HERE
When I became a K¹² International Academy online teacher, one of the things I was afraid I would miss most about being in front of a traditional classroom was the connections that can be created when teachers and students are in a classroom together. As a teacher and a coach, I was able to connect with my students on various levels whether it is through course content, the funny stories that showed their personalities, or helping them achieve their goals as athletes.
As a teacher, those connections are what meant the most to me about being involved with students. Yes, test scores matter and of course, educating the future of our nation, but on a personal level, being able to connect with a student means so much more. What really makes me enjoy my job are the students that I get to meet and talk to each day!
When you realize that students trust you enough to tell you how they are feeling, when they come to you with problems or issues they are having, that shows they know that you care. And you know what? That’s the most important thing…that they know we care. That someone cares. No matter what their home life is, whether or not they have a good support system at home or not, students respond the most when they know you care about what is going on with them…that you care about what they are going through now and about how they can prepare for the future.
So, when I became a K¹² International Academy virtual teacher, I made it my mission to not lose out on those connections. I think no matter if you are a teacher or a student, sometimes being in an online environment can make you feel alone. But never fear fellow “onliners” – you are not alone and you can create those connections.
Be sure to check our school calendar for upcoming clubs and virtual fields trips!
The students (and teachers) here at iCademy are just as eager to engage as in a traditional classroom! We are still proud of our students when they succeed, and are there for them when they did not do their best.
LISTEN UP STUDENTS: Your teachers want to get to know you! We want to learn about your hobbies and things you like to do. We want to know if you are really excited about an upcoming trip, or that you want to be a veterinarian when you grow up.
Why, you say? Because YOU are what makes our job enjoyable! YOU are the reason we get up to work every day! YOU make our job not just a job, but a privilege.
So students and teachers, here is your challenge! Strive every day to learn something new about your “counterpart.” Even if the only thing you have in common is your love of dogs, then that is a start! That is how we build relationships in an online environment, and that is how we make learning meaningful!
Posted on May 15, 2014 Updated on May 15, 2014
Rita Veszpremi, ESL teacher at the Dubai Learning Center, tells us how the course provides an English-language learning vocabulary, and how the blended learning model works in language instruction. English courses are also offered online.
As an online school, nearly every week, K¹² International Academy students have the opportunity to go on virtual trips, and learn about new people and places. Just recently, however, two fantastic teachers, along with some adventurous students embarked on K¹² International Academy’s first ever student trip.
Mrs. April Murnane has “been teaching middle school French for two years atK¹² International Academy and she is one of the advisors of Explorer’s Club.” She is “originally from Cleveland, Ohio, but currently lives in Columbus, Ohio.” She earned her Bachelor of Science in French in 2004 from Capital University. “In 2006, she graduated with her M.A. in French language and literature from The Ohio State University.” In 2011, she “finished a graduate program at Ashland University earning her French Pre-K-12 Licensure.” She has also “taught French to university students for two years, and has taught French to middle and high school students for the last eight years.
Mr. Charlie Meehan is “originally from Warwick, Rhode Island, but now lives in Miami Florida.” He is “the World Languages Department Chair and teaches English Electives courses” at K¹² International Academy. Mr. Meehan has “a Bachelor’s Degree in English from Rhode Island College and a Master of Fine Arts in poetry from University of Miami.” He is also certified to teach English in the state of Florida.
This year, K¹² International Academy decided to offer a student trip, for the first time ever. Mrs. Murnane and Mr. Meehan incredibly organized and chaperoned this one-week long trip, from London, England to Paris, France. Considering this was a trip with students from all around the globe, whom they never met before, across multiple countries, and for such a long duration, it absolutely was a huge responsibility to execute the trip appropriately, safely, and joyfully. When I mentioned this point to Mr. Meehan, he responded “there is always a degree of stress involved when traveling abroad,” and that he, Mrs. Murnane, and the students “spent the better part of a year getting to know” each other through Blackboard sessions. By the time the trip rolled around, they all “were pretty knowledgeable of each other.” In fact, Mr. Meehan said ecstatically, “Ms. Murnane and I have been working together for a few years atK¹² International Academy, but this was the first time we got to meet in person, too!”
Mrs. Murnane continued, “There were certainly stressful moments during the planning stages of this endeavor!” The trip was actually planned and organized over the course of a year, to ensure it would be the best and safest possible for students. “As a World Language teacher,” Mrs. Murnane, “loves being able to share her passion for experiencing the world with students.” She enthusiastically continued that her first abroad student trip “was a school trip to France her junior year of high school,” and, “it was an absolutely unforgettable time.” In fact, her roommate from the trip is her best friend, today!
Ultimately, Mrs. Murnane emphasized that “a trip like this really can open one’s eyes to a new world of experiences and spark a desire to become a life-long learner through exploration and adventure.”
And, then, the journey began when Mr. Meehan, Mrs. Murnane, and the students all met each other for the first time ever at Heathrow Airport, in London, England.
I asked Mrs. Murnane about the challenges and techniques needed for organizing this trip, and she stressed the need to be “hyper organized and communicating frequently with the students and their families.” Her previous experience “working and traveling with international students and organizing similar trips truly helped put together a plan for this trip.” She mentioned specifically, that she has “worked and lived in both France as a Resident Director of The Ohio State University’s Study Abroad Program and Switzerland as a French teacher at The American School in Switzerland’s summer French immersion program.” I thought this extent of experience is honorable, and for students to have the opportunity to travel with such teachers is astounding!
Considering K¹² International Academy is a virtual school, it brought to my attention the likely differences between preparing for such a trip in a brick-and-mortar school, compared to a virtual school. The biggest difference in planning for the trip lay mainly in mediums of communication. Mrs. Murnane and Mr. Meehan wouldn’t see participating students in classes, hallways, or the cafeteria “to remind them to turn something in, or log-in to their trip account or ask their parents this or that.” Instead, they “had to make a more concerted effort to keep contact with one another and to update one another about trip details.” There were constant “Skype calls and messages, phone calls, and Kmails in addition to…monthly meetings,” which helped in guiding students through the preparatory process of the trip.
Meet the students who took advantage of this fantastic opportunity offered by K¹² International Academy, and shared their thoughts and experiences: Amelia W, Brittany L, Caitlin L, Danny S, Eden M, and Fatimah S.
In response to which city, between London, England and Paris, France, was their favorite, most claimed London, because of “it’s nice blend of old preserved historical sites, and modern buildings and culture,” as Danny said, and “because of the busy, fast-paced lifestyle there,” as Fatimah said. On the other hand, Caitlin chose Paris, because she “enjoyed the French culture and being able to practice [speaking] French…the food, the architecture, and the people were all amazing!” Mrs. Murnane also chose Paris, and, smiling, admitted to being “a little biased since she absolutely loves the French language and culture,” as well.
When I asked about their favorite attractions, a couple students and Mr. Meehan chose the Eiffel Tower as their favorite, “especially being at the top,” mentioned Amelia, and especially seeing it “all lit up at night,” added Mr. Meehan, describing the sight as “spectacular.” Brittany favored the day in London, when they “went to Big Ben and the Tower of London.” Eden said she preferred the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, “because the area outside of it was busy and full of entertainment.” Fatimah was torn “between Trafalgar Square in London and Montmartre in Paris.” She also excitedly noted that, “the Nutella crepes in Paris are to die for!” And, on the note of food, Mrs. Murnane joked that “if you asked the students what my favorite attraction/cuisine was, they would answer: the French pastries.”
In addition to the mentioned locations, Mrs. Murnane, Mr. Meehan, and the students visited the Louvre museum, saw the Crown Jewels, and toured the Windsor Castle.
Then, I asked if this was the first time any of the students traveled abroad without parents and for this duration. For a few students, this trip was actually the “first time away from home without my parents,” as Caitlin said. As for Amelia, “it was not her first time being away from her parents for a long time, but this was by far the longest distance.” Everyone believed that they would definitely go on another trip like this one; as Eden said, “I’ve shown myself that I am capable of doing it. Traveling alone gave me a liberating feeling that I loved.” Caitlin elaborated that “it was a challenge and took a lot of responsibility but it was exciting to be able to do it on my own and to take care of myself. I would definitely do it again, it was a wonderful experience.”
As this was the first time traveling such a long distance and duration, and even the first time visiting England and France for students, of course, despite all the assistance and preparation provided by Mrs. Murnane and Mr. Meehan, there is always the chance for noticing things that could have been improved. Mr. Meehan and Brittany would have preferred the trip be longer. Amelia said she “would have packed a few warmer clothes for London,” and Fatimah said she, surprisingly, “would’ve definitely brought a little less clothes.” Brittany laughed and said she “could have packed more clothes to wear because by the end of the week all of [her] clothes were kind of stinky, but it was okay,” she joked, “because everyone stunk by the end of the week!” Meanwhile, Danny, like a few other students, regretfully recalled not being as social as they hoped to be.
Mrs. Murnane stated one of her initial concerns was possible delayed flights, about which she said, “the best thing you can do is plan for the worst and hope for the best.” She said she “was also nervous about how the students would relate to one another….or if personalities would clash.” Gladly, she “was so overjoyed that the students instantly connected. It was as if they’d known each other for years!” she exclaimed. In fact, “a teacher from one of the other school groups on [their] tour even asked if they were family because of the way they interacted with one another. They were inseparable during (and even now!) the entire trip.”
Conclusively, Mrs. Murnane said “there were small details here and there,” that she would have altered, “from an organizational standpoint, but overall, despite all of [her] worrying, the trip was an unforgettable experience for us all,” and “a great success,” as Mr. Meehan added.
To conclude the interview with the students, I asked what the most memorable aspect was through the entire trip. They all emphasized befriending others from iCademy that they had never met before, and befriending other people from other schools. Eden said, “although the trip was only a week long, I made life-long friends whom I will cherish for the rest of my life.” Caitlin said, “One of my most memorable memories was the first night in Paris. The rest of the tour group went back to the hotel and we didn’t want to go back. So Mr. Meehan and Mrs. Murnane took us out and we walked through Paris at night for hours. We walked about six miles from Notre Dame along the Seine River all the way to l’Arc de Triomphe. We just walked and talked and ate food and saw the beautiful city of Paris at night.” Danny mentioned a very interesting instance where he and a few other students were in a hall in the Louvre, and “farmers [came] storming in with their sheep.” He said, enthusiastically, “I definitely would if I could go on this or a similar trip once or ten times more.”
Mr. Murnane concluded:
Right from the beginning, despite the diversity of our group, no one was ever left out, cliques were never formed, but instead, each student welcomed the other with open arms. No matter the student’s gender, ethnic background, first language, religion, or style of dress, these students were without fail always inclusive and accepting of others. Our students were outgoing, enthusiastic, energetic and ready for anything. This trip certainly broke the stereotype of the introverted home-school student who lacks social skills! They were an absolute joy to be around and the fun they had everywhere we went was totally infectious. I couldn’t have been more proud of the way they represented our school, and it was very difficult to say goodbye to them.
Finally, I ended the teacher interviews by asking if Mr. Meehan and Mrs. Murnane would be interested in offering and chaperoning for another one of these trips, to the same locations, or others. Mr. Meehan said they, “hope to be able to offer K¹² International Academy students the opportunity to participate in trips every year,” and that, “it would be fun to experience different cities each year.”
Mrs. Murnane said, “this type of trip offers students at our virtual school the opportunity to physically meet, interact and engage with one another in a very unique, fun, and exciting environment. When you put all of this together, the hope is that something magical might happen, that students will create lifelong bonds and friendships with their classmates from all across the globe and that they will create memories that will last a lifetime.” She said passionately that, “It fills my heart with great joy to say that I believe that is exactly what happened on this trip.”
I would like to thank Mrs. Murnane and Mr. Meehan, as well as Amelia, Brittany, Caitlin, Danny, Eden, and Fatimah, for participating in this interview, and providing all of their insight and experiences on this first-ever K¹² International Academy trip.
The fact that K¹² International Academy, a virtual school in which students come from all over the globe and are rarely in the same vicinity, offers these types of joyous and educational travel opportunities is absolutely marvelous.
If such an experience has gauged your interest, as Mrs. Murnane said, “please watch k-mail and K¹² International Academy social media sites very closely for information coming soon about next spring’s Europe trip!”
This story and more student stories can also be found at our student News iGlobe
Check out more about this story brought to you by the Teachers & Check out the European photo album HERE
Amira Abdul Moati is as bright and exuberant as you would expect a 14-year-old to be. She loves ice creams and waltzing across an ice rink. She also has a way with numbers that has seen her completing Grades nine and 10 in maths even while studying in Grade eight at the K12 International Academy. But for now, the UAE’s best junior figure skater is focused on the upcoming Desert Open Figure Skating Championship to be held at Zayed Sports City in Abu Dhabi this Friday and Saturday.
“I aim to perform all three programmes without any mistakes, including double axel,” she told XPRESS ahead of the event.
On March 22nd, nine students and two teachers set off from 6 different countries to meet in Europe for the very first time. They’d been meeting for months virtually, in order to prepare for a week-long trip to London and Paris. Nothing may have truly prepared them for what an unforgettable experience it would be and that they’d form such strong bonds with one another…
Once we had all arrived in London and all of the students had been introduced, it was as if they’d known each other for years. A teacher from another school on the tour even commented that you’d think the students were all family the way they interacted with one another. The students were friendly, inclusive, outgoing and perhaps not what others may have expected from the “homeschool group.” They took every opportunity to soak in the culture, sights, sounds, and tastes of each city. Unfortunately, we did not have the opportunity to try escargot (snails). However, there was no shortage of French chocolate in everyone’s suitcases by the end of the trip!
The students’ first day in London began the moment they set foot off the plane. We took the “tube” to Trafalgar square and visited the National Gallery. Then, we had a traditional dinner of Fish n’ Chips.
The second day in London, we took a bus tour of all the major sites in the morning. In the afternoon, we set off for the countryside to visit Windsor Castle, the Queen’s primary residence. To our surprise, she was actually present during the first part of our visit, but sadly, none of us were invited for tea.
Our last day in London was spent exploring the Tower of London, an old prison. We even got a glimpse of the Crown Jewels!
Very early the next morning, we rushed off to the train station. We took the Eurostar train to Paris (the one where you pass underneath the English Channel)! Surprisingly, our ears didn’t even pop, and it didn’t feel as if we were hundreds of feet underwater!
After arriving in Paris, we went right into the city center to explore. We saw some of the major monuments such as Notre Dame, Place de la Concorde, Champs-Elysees, and the Arc de Triomphe. During our walking tour, we even had glimpses of the Eiffel Tower lit up in the night sky.
The next morning we went on a bus tour to see some of the other famous monuments and sites spread across the immense city of Paris. Our afternoon was spent walking through the Palace of Versailles and its elaborate gardens. That evening we were treated to a traditional dinner of crêpes! Then we were off again and headed for the Eiffel Tower. Seeing it sparkle at night is really something special. A few of the students even got as far as the very top…by foot!
On our last day in Paris, we spent the morning discovering the thousands of ancient artifacts housed in the Louvre, the worlds largest and most visited museum. We saw works such as the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo. In the afternoon, we hiked all the way to the highest point in Paris, Montmartre. We took pictures in front of the Roman-Byzantine style basilica Sacré Cœur, and then we took a stroll through the quaint, narrow streets full of artists, crafts and souvenir shops. That evening, we took a riverboat cruise on the Seine which topped off our amazing journey through two of the worlds most renowned cities.
What is most memorable about this trip, however, is likely not all the famous places we visited, but the strong relationships with one another that were formed. Right from the beginning, despite the diversity of our group, no one was ever left out, clicks were never formed, but instead, each student welcomed the other with open arms. No matter the students gender, ethnic background, first language, religion, or style of dress, these students were without fail always inclusive and accepting of others. Our students were outgoing, enthusiastic, energetic and ready for anything. This trip certainly broke the stereotype of the introverted home-school student who lacks social skills! As their teachers, we found them infectiously fun to be around.
As virtual learners, these students have learned how to be self-disciplined, and part of their success as virtual students is being punctual and responsible for themselves. This was proven time and time again over the course of our trip through London and Paris. They were always on-time and looked out for one another being conscious not to allow someone to feel left out, left behind or to feel that they didnt fit in. We couldnt have been more proud of the way they represented our school, and it was very difficult to say goodbye. Its very likely these students will stay in touch and find a way to visit each others home cities someday.
As online teachers, it sometimes is easy to feel disconnected to the students. One can feel isolated and “on an island” as the days and weeks pass by. However, we as online teachers should never forget that we interact each and every day with incredible students who each have their own stories, personalities, backgrounds, and interests. As teacher chaperones for the K12 International Academy 2014 Trip to London and Paris, our 9 student travelers reminded us why we log into our jobs every day. For six days in March, we witnessed young people, ages 14-18, interact with one another as if they had known each other for years, not hours. A trip that began as an excursion to learn about two very unique, diverse cities became a microcosm for what these 9 student travelers represented collectively. Even though they all live in different states and countries, they found commonalities in each other, formed bonds, genuinely cared for each other, and created life-long memories and friendships with each other that will live years beyond their classrooms experiences. I know that they have had an effect on us as teachers who were fortunate enough to spend time with them, get to know them, and return to our jobs Monday morning invigorated that what we do DOES make a difference, and that we are the luckiest teachers in the world because we get to interact and educate remarkable young people every day.