TeachingTraveling.com: Welcome to great Pennsylvania teacher, Tracy Antonioli, who is about to take a year to travel and write a book on the educational value of different U.S. vacations for children!
Tell us your story, Tracy.
Well, let’s get the painful part over with first. I’m 31 years old. Whew! Ok. Now that that’s done with, I can continue! In eight and a half days I will have finished my eighth year of teaching. For seven of those eight years I’ve taught 8th grade language arts at the same middle school. It is a school full of amazing, committed, creative teachers and students. (Cough cough… Eyer Middle School rocks… cough cough…)
I’ve always traveled but I didn’t know I was traveling. I guess I just thought I was driving around? In college, it was standard for me to put thirty thousand miles per year on my car, despite the fact that I lived three blocks from campus. I even planned my course-load so I’d have time to roam. One semester I only had classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, giving me super long weekends to play around with. That’s back when gas was $1.05 per gallon!
When I got married I accidentally planned two honeymoons, Cape Cod and Alaska, and it just got worse (or better?) from there. Being a teacher married to another teacher provides a whole summer each year to travel together. Last year we spent a month between London, Paris, and Amsterdam.
I did not like Paris. I did not like it at all. Upon returning home, as the cab drove us over the 59th Street Bridge I had ‘God Bless America’ stuck in my head. You’d think an experience like that, in a city that people are ‘supposed to’ love, would have cured me of my travel bug. Nope.
After The Great Paris Mishap of 2010, I ended up with a most unlikely location for my next “trip:” Walt Disney World. I have never had any desire to go to any Disney park. But I had to go, as it was the location of the 2010 Annual National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Convention.