I was a bit of a bookworm when I was a kid. I loved learning and I loved school. I remember making my mom buy me an alarm clock so I wouldn’t be late for my first day of Kindergarten!
Over the years, I had a few favorite teachers. I loved all of my elementary school teachers and had some other great ones in Junior High, High School and College. There are 3 teachers in particular who always stick out in my mind.
Mrs. Devico, my 8th grade Social Studies teacher, was awesome. I never had much interest in history before her. She was oddly strict and entertaining all at the same time. She had a unique ability to relate to her students while keeping us in line.
She used to joke that if we wanted to thank her, we could bring her Cheetos or beer. She was a crack up, but she was seriously dedicated to teaching. We knew that she spent plenty of her own money on making her classroom a good experience for us, and we appreciated that.
One of my most memorable high school teachers was Mr. Hoss, my Algebra 2 teacher. I always excelled at math, so I easily got bored in class (I would literally sleep in class while I was bored and still get an A without blinking). Mr. Hoss was able to entertain us with his random ramblings about Seinfeld while teaching us what we needed to learn.
In college, my most memorable professor was Louella Benson-Garcia, one of the Public Relations professors. I was never the best writer – I was always good at Math and Science – but I’ve always tended to try to perfect my areas of weakness. So somehow I ended up a Public Relations major, even though I hated writing and public speaking!
Louella kicked my butt into gear and made me a good writer. At the beginning of the semester, my papers were covered in red ink. By the end of the semester, the red was pretty much gone. Without her, I wouldn’t be the writer I am today.
I guess my point with these stories is that teachers have an impact on our lives. Positive or negative, they have impact, and we should reward and respect the ones who have a positive influence on our lives and the lives of others.
Hilton HHonors Teacher Treks Travel Grant Contest
The Hilton HHonors Teacher Treks Travel Grant contest is aiming to do just that – reward the best teachers out there. This contest will fund 15 teachers to travel and experience first-hand the subject they teach, to enable them to enrich their curriculum and inspire their students to explore the world.
This program was developed together with the Institute of International Education (IIE), administrator of the Fulbright Scholarship. So far, the competition has been narrowed down to 30 finalists by a panel of judges, which includes K-12 teachers and other education experts. Each of the applicants creatively mapped out the travel plan of their dreams for this competition.
Some of their ideas included:
- Learn how Shakespearean theater resounds with various cultures in Europe
- Attend the Korea Wind Band Festival in Seoul, Korea to learn more about the methodology & instrumentation of international wind bands
- Participate in a one-week Math Olympiad in China to learn how Shanghai developed into the global math leader
Why Are Teachers So Excited About the Competition?
The awesome prizes, of course! During the Hilton HHonors Teacher Treks competition, 15 teachers will win a grant valued at $6,000 towards travel to the destination of their choice. Each of these teachers’ schools will also receive a $2,500 grant for cultural activities and/or enhancements.
The 15 runners-up will get a $2,500 grant for their school to use for cultural activities and/or enhancements. One lucky winner selected from among all submissions will get a cultural excursion for their classroom, which has a value of $1,500.
Go Vote to Win!
10 random winners who vote in the Hilton HHonors Teacher Treks contest will be chosen to receive a $250 Hilton HHonors Gift Card (yes, that means you could win!). You can vote one time per day during the competition!
Image courtesy of Paul Gooddy / FreeDigitalPhotos.net