In the Spring of 2012, I participated in an amazing program called The Examined Life: Greek Studies in Schools. There were two parts to the program.
First, I participated in an online course which required me to read the literature of Ancient Greece, including The Iliad, The Odyssey, and several plays and short works. The course also included discussions of the literature in an online forum.
The second part of the program was actually traveling to Greece, something I had never imagined was possible for me in my wildest dreams. I spent ten days traveling with a group of educators and children’s authors to various cities and historic sites. My unforgettable memories of this trip include:
- the scent of orange blossoms that waft through the air throughout the entire country
- sitting on a hotel deck roof at dawn and watching the sun rise over the Parthenon
- singing Madonna’s “Express Yourself” at the Theater of Epidaurus
- seeing the road where Oedipus traveled and met his father
- learning that Greek statues were not white, but painted in garish colors (the paint faded with age)
Additionally, this trip had a significant impact on my teaching practice. In grappling with challenging texts, I was able to not only empathize with my students who struggle with grade-level reading materials, but I was able to share my “Reader’s Notebook” from the course with my students and have them try out some of my reading strategies. I remember my students being very impressed by all the notes I had taken, and I shared with them that reading is a lifelong process. Furthermore, I grew in my level of comfort in presenting students with Greek traditional literature because I am able to understand the cultural and historical context of these stories better and provide more adequate and accurate background knowledge.
The good news is that now YOU can participate in this incredible journey!
From Associate Program Director Extraordinaire Connie Carven:
GREECE ONLINE GRADUATE COURSE (JAN. to MAY, 2014)
INCLUDES STUDY TOUR TO GREECE (APRIL 17 to 27, 2014)
Great opportunity — and the experience of a lifetime!
See teachgreece.org for details or contact Connie Carven
A few videos from my trip: