Grosvenor Teacher Goes To Galapagos

Latest update November 30, 2018 Started on November 27, 2018
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I am a Special Education Teacher from a PreK through 8 school in Connecticut off to explore the Galapagos through a National Geographic and Lindblad Expeditions as a Grosvenor Teacher Fellow!


Join me as I explore and expand my knowledge of this region and further develop my Explorer's Mindset!

November 27, 2018
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Mission Underway

And I’m off! With luggage in hand the expedition begins! An early morning flight to Miami is followed by a second flight to Guayaquil, Ecuador!
It is as I gather my luggage and pass through Customs that I begin to see other passengers who will be exploring with me!

It’s strange to me to be traveling solo as most people are in pairs of some sort. We can pick each other out at the baggage claim as we see blue and yellow ribbons and Lindblad/National Geographic luggage tags on bags! Everyone is eager to begin! We gather bags and head to Customs. Spanish is of course the primary language so announcements and signs fly by us! I cleared Customs and took the next step! After customs we are met by representatives and taken outside in the warm evening weather, putting our bigger luggage in a truck that seemed way to tiny but worked! We all got on a bus and were greeted by Francisco, our tour guide for this city who outlined our next steps.

Guayaquil is a large city with a port and a population of over 4 million. I later learned that among other things, bananas and roses are shipped from here in mass quantities to the USA. The bustling traffic and unfamiliar sights were stimulating and exciting to see!

Check in to the Hilton Hotel Colon was smooth. I soon learned that this group’s travel is very organized.

It was already a bit late in the day for me so I was content to rest in my room.

Wake up call at 6:00 with our luggage due outside at 6:15 so time to rest before the flight out to the Galápagos Islands tomorrow!! Eek! How exciting!

I brought my school mascot stuffed Paws with me. Paws will show up in some places wearing my Grosvenor Teacher Fellow hat to give a sense of scale and bring a bit of my school with me! I will meet my shipmate tomorrow on the flight to the Galápagos as she is coming from a different route. Hope you enjoy my journey !

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Preparation Stage

It is so hard to believe it is almost time to go! I have been waiting since February to go!! Over the past few months I have been working on developing a better understanding of all the Galapagos has to offer. As part of that I have acquired several books, watched the BBC series on NetFlix, and created a school flag to bring with me! I have also decided to pack the school mascot stuffed animal from my classroom. My school mascot is The Wolves, so my stuffed animal Paws is stowing away in my suitcase! I hope to use him for cameo appearances to help develop a sense of place and togetherness with my students!
My students are excited for me and we have read several books together and used MapMaker Interactive to strengthen their geographic awareness and appreciation of my upcoming expedition. Ironically i have a student who has family in the Galapagos and has visited there herself! And amazingly enough her parents will be visiting the same week I am there! We hope to be able to see each other there - how cool is that???

Now I am down to the final day! Finishing lesson plans! Packing my bag! Checking in for my incredibly early flight! I've not flown out of the country by myself before so that is a new experience for me. I'm sure it will be fine but its the first of many new ways I think I will be expanding my knowledge and going outside my comfort zone. It's really happening! I look forward to sharing photos and this fabulous experience with my students and any of you who choose to follow along! Thank you National Geographic Education and Lindblad Expeditions for this dream come true!

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Expedition Background

Early this year I was selected as a National Geographic Lindblad Expeditions Grosvenor Teacher Fellow! I went to Washington D.C. in March with all of the other 2018 Fellows and was overwhelmed and honored with the amount of information that they provided to us! During this time I met my soon to be shipmate and amazing educator, Katherine Golden from St. Louis.
On November 30th, I will leave on this amazing professional development opportunity of of a lifetime! I will fly to Guayaquil, Ecuador and then out to the Galapagos. There I will board the National Geographic Endeavour II and spend a week exploring the islands and recording information regarding the endemic species and plants there! My goal is to come back with videos and photos displaying this amazing area and sharing it with my Special Education students as well as their peers, to aide them in their geographic awareness and encourage them to further develop their view of themselves as explorers

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