In today’s world of advanced technology, classrooms come in all different shapes, sizes, and formats. For the 2013-14 school year, my classroom will be the world, spanning approximately the 24,000 kilometers I plan to cycle during the next 14 months. I plan to visit schools along my route, working and talking with students around the world. I will be a teacher on 2 wheels. If I'm cycling through your area and you'd like me to visit your school please contact me.
This will be the first year that I don’t have my own classroom since I started teaching and the thought is daunting. As much as I want to carry out my adventure, teaching fulfills me and it’s part of my identity. Therefore, my adventure wouldn’t be complete if it didn’t include some element of teaching. Granted my bike trip is a life experience that will most definitely impact the way I interact with my students in the future, I also plan to visit schools along my route, sharing and working with students around the world.
I will be posting my biking statistics, sharing data from my trip, and travel experiences along the way. My hope is that this section of my website can be used by teachers in their classroom in different subject areas to make more meaningful connections with learning in our everyday life. Cycling in itself is a topic that naturally lends to a lot of great inquiry, classroom discussions, and activities. Please share with me any activities you might be doing with my website, I'd love to see them.
Please spread the word about me, "The Teacher on 2 Wheels" to any teachers you may know! Thank you!
Recent Classroom Visits
Hong Kong International Schools
Hong Kong International School, The Harbour School, and Hong Kong Academy. November 2013.
Visiting schools in Hong Kong with my bike was impossible. The airline lost my luggage and the bike only arrived in time to see the students at HKA. At HKIS I was able to talk with several upper primary classes and share my slide show. The Harbour school organized two lunch talks with the primary and secondary students. At HKA I had a separate assembly for primary and middle school students and also visited some of the elementary classrooms. I was ambitious trying to see so many schools but I was warmly welcomed at each.
Qinzhou Public Elementary School
Qinzhou Primary School #7. Qinzhou, China. November 2013.
I was extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to visit a local public Chinese primary school in Qinzhou. With the eyes of 66 5th graders on me, I stood before them and tried my best to explain a bit about myself, my biking trip, and the idea to write a pen pal letter to students in Italy who were curious about kids in China. Sometimes as teachers in private institutions, we forget how lucky we are to teach small classes. It is no easy task to have 3 times that in a classroom that is the same size, but I tell you, I’d rise to the challenge. Hopefully there will be visits to more local schools along my route. Thank you A lian and Sandy for helping organize this visit!
Hanoi International School
The Hanoi International School, Hanoi, Vietnam. November 2013.
I visited with the Grade 5 students at HIS who had recently finished a unit that touched on how people achieve their goals and follow their dreams. I explained to them a bit about where my idea came from and how I went about achieving it. They also shared with me some of their dreams in the form of drawings and we talked about how to go about achieving them.
The United Nations International School, Hanoi, Vietnam. November 2013.
My visit to UNIS was rather unique as I worked solely with the grade 2 students who had just started a unit on transportation, hence, the bike tied in perfectly! They had a list of questions prepared for me and we also discussed the unique aspects of traveling by bike and all the preparations involved. I enjoyed my visit thoroughly and left with some beautiful bicycle artwork as well! Thank you Michelle Epting Armstrong for finding me!
Luang Prabang Province Preschools
Give Children A Choice, December 2013.
I have fewer opportunities to visit a local school, therefore while in Luang Prabang, I opted for the experience to see local village kids at three different pre-schools. I brought along some art supplies, as materials are extremely limited and had a guide and translator to help me communicate. I got to visit two different age levels, 3 year olds, and 4 year olds. After observing the morning routine in the classrooms, my guide helped explain the activity I had prepared. We drew pictures of things that we really enjoyed or that made us happy. For me, obviously it is riding a bike, but they made all sorts drawings from nature and their family, to food.
Mosaic School and Duruma Eco-Farm
Bang Phra, Chonburi, Thailand, January 2014
The Mosaic school is an incredibly unique educational environment for students. The school’s philosophy is based on the concept of permaculture. Students are in an alternative education environment, similar to a home-schooling environment with an integrated thematic curriculum that focuses on taking care of themselves and their environment. I happened to visit on Thailand’s Children day and participated in the many activities that the parents had organized. What a unique school visit it was! Thank you Neil Willmann for having me visit and stay at the farm!
Tenby International School
Penang, Malaysia, January 2014
At Tenby, I had a chance to meet with almost the entire school body including primary, secondary and part of the national students who also share the same campus. The primary students had lots of questions for me and were especially curious to know my opinion about the Malay culture and food. Even though I’m most comfortable talking to the primary students, I must say that the secondary students were an excellent audience and the discussion was engaging. I talked with several PE classes as well as a geography class who were fascinated to know about all details involved to prepare an trip on bike, especially when it comes to being fit. Thank you Marian Bartlett for organizing my visit and Madeleine Vincent in Istanbul for passing me the contact!
The Fairview International School
Penang, Malaysia, January 2014
I struggled getting to the The Fairview International School because the road was incredibly hilly and far from where I was staying for a morning visit. However, I must say it was well worth the climbing as I thoroughly enjoyed my visit with the fifth graders who had just started a unit on energy. We talked about the energy I need as a cyclist to be able to pedal everyday as well as the bike as a simple machine and how it works. Did you know the bike produces energy, which can be used in a variety of ways on my trip? We discovered this together during my visit! Thank you Jerlin Balais for putting this visit together at the last minute, I appreciated all your hospitality!
The Overseas Family School
Singapore, Singapore, February 2014
On the first day back from the Chinese New Year holiday I visited the 3rd and 4th graders at the Overseas Family School in Singapore. The 4th graders were studying about their well being in terms of physical, emotional, and social health and the relationship between them. It was a fascinating talk for me to prepare, looking back on my trip and how each has impacted me differently at different times throughout my trip. In 3rd grade the students were studying sustainable living. Of course the bike is one form of transportation that obviously doesn’t impact the environment as much as others. Therefore, I geared the discussion more in the terms of places I had been and how I had seen people interact with their environment, rather it be responsibly or irresponsibly.