Hilton HHonors Teacher Treks Competition

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I know you see that I post a lot about homeschooling on my blog – but we didn’t always homeschool, my daughter attended public school from Kindergarten through sixth grade.  We were fortunate that from 2nd through 5th grades she was able to attend a magnet school for gifted learners and she had fabulous teachers throughout the entire time she was there.

One teacher though particularly stands out – and that was her 5th grade teacher, Dr. Andrews.  This teacher made learning come alive for her students.  She did a lot of hands on activities with them, like Colonial Days where she set up a whole day for the kids as if they were living back then, from making candles to eating pea soup and johnnycakes, learning to knit and playing Colonial era games.  The kids had so much fun, and they learned so much more than if they just had read a book about it.  She was the kind of teacher who got to know her students, encouraged them to excel in their strengths and helped them overcome and understand the subjects that they were weaker in.  It isn’t any wonder that she was nominated by one of the students in her class and won South Dakota teacher of the year that year!

At the end of the school year, she wrote each student a note, sealed it up and instructed them not to open it until they graduate high school.  We still have that envelope sitting in a file folder, waiting for next spring to open and read!  Our daughter still proclaims 5th grade as the best year of her life, and I know Dr. Andrews has a lot to do with that.

Teachers are only as good as the resources they have though, and through The Hilton HHonors Teacher Treks program 15 teachers will have the chance to travel and experience up close and personal, the subject that they teach.  They’ll be able to enhance their lesson plans and encourage their students to go out and explore the globe!

Through a group of judges that included teachers and other experts in the education field, a competition selected 30 finalists from 20 states to be chosen for one of the 15 spots in The Hilton HHonors Teacher Treks program.  The teachers who applied, presented their travel dreams with creativity and interesting itineraries.  Here is some of what the judges saw:

o Discovering how Shakespearean theater resonates with different European cultures
o Attending the 4th Annual Korea Wind Band Festival in Seoul to better understand the methodology and instrumentation of international wind bands
o Learning how Shanghai became the global leader of math by participating in a week-long Math Olympiad program in China

The Awards being granted as part of The Hilton HHonors Teacher Treks program are:
• Winners: 15 winners will receive a grant valued at $6,000 to travel to a destination of their choice; in addition to the trip, each winning teachers’ school will also receive a $2,500 grant to use for cultural activities or enhancements
• Runners-up: 15 runners-up will each receive a $2,500 grant for their school to use for cultural activities or enhancements
• One winner from all submissions will receive a cultural excursion for their classroom valued at $1,500

So you can see it’s really a win/win for all the teachers that made it to the finals AND the students in the schools they teach at.

Here’s where YOU can get involved – these teachers need your vote to win, and Hilton HHonors is going to give you a chance at an award for helping choose the teachers that win.  When you vote for a teacher in the Teacher Treks competition, you will have the chance to be one of 10 random winners to receive a Hilton HHonors Gift Card valued at $250.  You can cast one vote per day until April 30, 2013. For more information on the 30 finalists, voting or for full Terms and Conditions, please visit

Go vote!

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