Beyond the Classroom: Exploring The Potential of Guided Tours for Educators

Lexa Pennington's picture

As more opportunities for passionate individuals to teach and interact with students in exotic locations open up around the world, the possibilities of combining a love for travel with a drive for sharing knowledge with new generations are seemingly endless. It's becoming common for young educators to leave their home towns and even the countries they were born in to pursue what is now often considered to be a dream vocation: teaching abroad.

Beyond the Classroom: Exploring The Potential of Guided Tours for Educators

While this decision to uproot a life to make the dream of teaching in a far off land can be incredibly challenging, the benefits can outweigh the risks if individuals are clever about where they move and how they make use of their time overseas. One way educators and teaching students can enhance their experience relates to expanding their minds professionally using guided cultural tours.

By taking time to find out everything there is to know about the location they travel to with a guided tour, young teaching professionals can take what they learn to enrich their own curriculums and classroom resources. Making the most of a trip abroad involves making time to see all tours & activities on offer in that location. Finding out what there is to do and see is the first step to transforming how educators approach teaching in the classroom.

Learning Outside the Box: How Intentional Cultural Immersion Benefits Teachers

For educators dedicated to immersing themselves in the culture they find themselves in, the transformative learning opportunities offered by guided museum and monument tours are significant. By looking beyond traditional classroom spaces and stuffy textbooks, teachers can use structured educational tours to learn in new ways through hands-on experiences and interactions with insightful locals.

Some of the best places to find insightful tours include local museums and historic sites that hold cultural significance. Tours from qualified and inspired guides offer unique ways for both students and teachers to gain a deeper understanding of subjects that directly impact individuals born near these locations.

Aside from offering novel ways for teachers to learn the history, customs, and traditions of an area, there are many other reasons why tours can be valuable experiences for teachers:

Professional Development Opportunities

Taking time out of a busy teaching schedule to take part in guided tours can offer unique ways for educators to discover new perspectives and develop professionally. This is because attendance can expand a person's existing knowledge on specific subjects and give teachers extra pieces of interesting information to keep students entertained and engaged while learning.

By actively listening to and engaging with the experts hosting a cultural or historic tour, individuals can enjoy a much more thorough understanding of what's being discussed or unpacked. They can then take what they've learned to enhance their own lesson plans on the subject.

Inspiration and Creativity Boosters

The act of walking through cultural locations with a guide can be a great source of inspiration for teachers and students. The ability for individuals to use all their senses while learning can improve their memory of the facts after the tour is over too. Exposure to novel ideas and information during guided tour experiences can also spark creativity and provide educators with fun ideas surrounding how to present new information in the classroom.

Curriculum Enhancement and Networking Opportunities

Guided tours offer an opportunity for educators to meet people passionate about real-world events and history. If a person takes the time to connect and interact with experienced tour guides, they can ask them for insights relating to what kinds of questions are commonly asked during tours. Using this information, teachers can include the answers to these common questions in their own teaching environments.

By fostering a professional connection with local tour guides, teachers can tweak aspects of their structured curriculum to make learning experiences for their students more interesting, more immersive and more memorable. In addition, teachers can take their students on the same tour later on as a field trip if the subject matter aligns in meaningful and useful ways.

Personal Renewal and Stress Relief

Tour experiences are geared towards tourists for a reason. They're designed to be both educational and entertaining. Teachers can use tours to enjoy taking a relaxing break from their teaching duties while also learning new information in a way that feels less like work than reading a textbook. 

By signing up for a tour, educators can enjoy a change of scenery away from the classroom and relieve stress while discovering the culture and landmarks their students grew up nearby. Engaging in activities that are mostly unrelated to work can also provide a welcome distraction from feelings of loneliness and isolation teachers often feel while away from family back home.

Community Engagement and Civic Responsibility

Because tours will often include chances to interact with local communities, these experiences can be a great way for educators to learn the local language and understand local issues. By taking time to engage with members of the local community, teachers can be exposed to all the nuanced aspects of specific societies.

During weekends and times away from students, educators can expand their understanding of why local customs exist and take part in local festivals and other communal activities. This exposure is a valuable way for individuals to make meaningful friendships and work towards becoming more informed global citizens.