When people find out we went on the first teacher PD cruise, their eyes widen, and they ask, "Was it as fabulous as it sounds?" And yes, it was!
Teach Your Heart Out had the brilliant idea of putting professional learning on a cruise. Lisa (PK teacher) and I (Laura, SLP) attended. Disclaimer: TYHO paid for our cruise and registration. Opinions in the post are our own.
Laura and Lisa
From the night before we left, we were reconnecting and making new friends. It's so important to have good support in the educational field!
Laura, Stacy from Simpson's Superstars, Chad from Male Kindergarten Teacher, and Lisa

The PD day included fabulous sessions from Teaching with Mr. G, Brooke Brown, Lindsey Petlak, and more. Michelle Griffo from Apples and ABCs offered fantastic classroom management ideas and centers with a Target twist. Lindsey Petlak taught us about fabulous apps and ideas for classroom math blocks. Of course, we found some time to sneak to CocoCay, Royal Caribbean's private island!
Mr. G had great tips on using books. Brooke Brown's knowledge of STEM has prompted me to think of how to use those activities in speech therapy. Previously, I had thought of STEM as a totally separate field. Now, I'm thinking STEM activities will engage and promote language in my students!

The most meaningful part for me was the trip to the Bahamas. We got to go to a school. It's very much away from where tourists go. It was humbling to see the living conditions and inspiring to see the dedication the staff puts into their work. I learned that there is only one speech therapist there. She works in a government building, and the students are transported from their schools to therapy. The waiting list can be up to two years! So different.

We all donated school supplies. It was so moving, and the principal was so grateful. And to top it off, Gerry Brooks closed the PD with a reminder to laugh, enjoy the adventure, and Teach Your Heart Out!

The highlights: the people,
the PD
the school visit
Gerry Brooks
the adult swimming deck
the food and our waiter
being "unplugged"
watching "Captain Marvel" in deck chairs with a nice breeze
watching a singing competition where the "loser" prize was a highlighter. The game show hostess was stumped when everyone wanted a highlighter. Apparently, it's a joke prize among regular cruisers but a hot commodity in the teacher cruiser world!

What to be aware of: While it was nice to not be chained to my phone, I would spring for the Internet package next time. Some of the sessions and locations were changed.

Interested? TYHO is already planning a cruise for 2021! Find out more here.

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