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Our Teacher Curriculum Tour is Loving Athens, Greece!

Beautiful Athens, Greece, seen from the Acropolis!
Beautiful Athens, Greece, seen from the Acropolis!

Months ago, my beloved co-worker, Cathy, said, “Hey, you wanna go to Greece with me on a great teacher curriculum tour?

I’ve been on a “Living Life Full-Out” kick, and so, given that I’d toured Spain in December and China in February, of course, I said, “Sign me up!” The decision to come was made even easier when I won a great grant for being a “Literacy Champion,” which is helping pay for this tour. Hard work pays off!

So now we’ve arrived in Athens, Greece: a team of 20 BRILLIANT teachers from around New England. And we are in heaven! And also eating a lot of Greek food.

First, Athens may be a big city, but it’s calming, green, and lovely. We’ve strolled through the Old Town, eaten more lamb than minotaurs do, and (in the dramatic highlight of yesterday) snuck into the Acropolis the secret, perhaps illegal way: through the back yards of some houses.

The secret way to the Acropolis: Through some back yards!
The secret way to the Acropolis: Through some back yards!

The temperature is a serene 70 degrees, and the air literally smells like perfume: orange blossoms to be exact. Driving into the city, the beauty of the Acropolis (towering high on a cliff above) smacked the air out of our lungs. But what has been most moving for me so far on this tour has been the opportunity to spend time with brilliant women of all ages.

Yes, as with many travel situations, this tour is nearly all women, and what women they are! Educators, scholars, and even a famous published author!

I am rooming in a cozy triple room with two women: another Boston Public Schools teacher (whom I cyber-met before when I published her “Teach in the Dominican Republic this Summer” article on, and an accomplished Latin teacher from a girls’ school in Concord, Massachusetts.

We're in Greece! Oh my gosh!!!
We’re in Greece! Oh my gosh!!!

I must go because our bus is about to leave for Delphi (!) where I may or may not track down the Oracle, but know this: I was hesitant at first about going on this tour (Would I be too tired traveling both vacations? Is this the best way to spend the grant money?) but my hesitancies are now gone, like all the clouds in this bright blue sky!

In general, folks, travel is always worth it!


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Monday 28th of January 2019

Well, this is a very belated comment, but I'm so glad you loved Greece! The secret way that you mention towards the Acropolis is part of the "Anafiotika". The name comes from the people of the small Cycladic island of Anafi who once upon a time moved to Athens in order to build the Parliament building (back then it served as a Palace). They inhabited that hill beneath the Acropolis and they made their houses according to the style of their island. As for the "orange smell in the air", this is actually from the bitter-oranges. We Greeks avoid to eat them though -they are too bitter! Wishing you safe travels :)

Lillie Marshall

Monday 28th of January 2019

HiGeorge, Thanks so much for taking the time to add these extra facts! Really good to know.


Saturday 3rd of January 2015

Was your trip through a travel group? If not, how did you find your guides? Some teachers and I are considering applying for a grant to travel to Greece this summer!


Sunday 4th of January 2015

Lisa, you should DEFINITELY go by whatever means possible! Greece so exceeded my expectations. The program I went through was (that page has contact info, so you can email them and tell them I sent you). They usually go in April, but there are many other organizations that have educational Greece travel programs. You might check out (though which I traveled to India), or the many other options out there. Further, grants like Fund for Teachers or those listed at may allow you to design your own programs. Good luck, and keep us posted!

Megan Jones

Friday 19th of October 2012

I love the idea of a Curriculum Tour! When I think back to all of my favorite teachers and the ones I learned the most from it was always the ones that had memorable and life changing experiences. My French teacher that lived and taught in Germany imparted upon me my love for exploring different cultures and my psychology teacher that used to be a bartender taught me the most about human nature. So go learn about Greece and absorb as much as you can so one day you can tell your students all about it and they will learn so much more than they ever could from a book!


Friday 19th of October 2012

Thanks for this beautiful and motivating comment!

Maya C.

Wednesday 16th of May 2012

Greece looks wonderful. I wish I could go to Greece right now, it looks so beutiful. You are so lucky you get to go to so many places.

Oriana H.

Tuesday 15th of May 2012

I kind of just noticed this, but it looks like you're kicking the guy behind you. Meanie!

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