Laurie G's Trip to Israel
Through AO Teacher Development Fund
It is hard to try and capture all that my trip to Israel meant to me in a paragraph. There are some experiences that are so visceral that words can’t really convey. Israel, like any place, is many things and I certainly only got a small taste this first time around (yes, I hope to return!). It is in a part of the world that is immersed in thousands of years of strife which is obviously still very much a part of our world today.
Israel is also incredibly beautiful. It is warm, vibrant, and of course, ancient. I was met at every turn with incredible hospitality and kindness. I ate way too much amazing food! I watched literally the greatest sunset of my life over the Mediterranean sea.
To be in a completely different culture with a new language, new foods, customs, and environment helped me to realize in an eye-opening way how small my world is. To have a firsthand experience of being “a stranger in a strange land” humbled me to what it means to not know everything in my surroundings, a wonderful childlike experience. As part of my visit I was lucky enough to stay at Israel's first established kibbutz Degania where I went on a tour of their kindergarten, olive oil factory, and dairy farm. I saw firsthand how they incorporate the outdoors and nature into their education of young children.
All of this, of course, informs my work as an early childhood educator on virtually every level. It was a life changing experience and one that I will certainly always remember. I am very grateful to the Teacher Development Fund for helping make this dream come true.
Class II | Lead Teacher