Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Choose your own Ed-venture and fund it with Donors Choose and the Gates Foundation

edventureIs this winter dragging you down? Do you have one of "those" classes this year? Need to put some adventure back into to being an educator? Wanna get away?

"Yes," you say. "But where am I going to find such adventure and then get the dough to make that happen?"

Funny you should ask because there are a slew of great options in some amazing locations. CUE Rock Star is in Lake Tahoe, Las Vegas, The Lakeshore of Michigan, and Boston as well as all over California this summer.

Discovery Education will soon be announcing details for its summer institute. Attending the 2008 institute at world headquarters in Silver Spring, MD was a huge launch to my career for connecting with other educators on a national and worldwide stage.

The Library of Congress holds several summer institutes for teachers as does Colonial Williamsburg,  Mount Vernon, The National Gallery of Art, Exploratorium in San Francisco, and the Smithsonian. All vary in how competitive their application processes are and what is required of attendees.

The National Endowment for the Humanities offers an astounding array of learning opportunities all over the world and throughout the United States that range from five days to five weeks. Many include handsome stipends to cover travel and fund future projects with the knowledge gained.

For experiences like Discovery that are free but attendees have to pay for travel or Rock Star that costs around $250 and requires travel, help can be found now at DonorsChoose.org. The site has teamed up with the Gates Foundation and together are running a pilot to help teachers fund their own professional development. Grant applications can be developed through their helpful guide.

So stop pouting about your sad lot in life. There are plenty of adventures to be had and now a new vehicle for getting those adventures funded. To be honest, adventures like these are what keep me amped up about education. Not only is the travel exciting but the biggest benefit comes from meeting incredible educators from around the globe. Get going!

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