Corbin teachers take two-week trip to Egypt

Chris Parsons
The News Journal
Corbin, Kentucky

They may not have walked like Egyptians on their recent trip to the Middle East, but a pair of Corbin Middle School teachers walked with the Egyptians for two weeks.”

Thanks to the Fund for Teachers, a program that provides teachers with opportunities for summer sabbaticals, Melissa Evans and Michele Anderson were treated to a two-week trip to Egypt, but it didn’t come easy.”

The two had to submit a proposal detailing how they would use the information gained on their trip would make them better teachers and how their improved skills would be implemented classroom, benefiting their students, curricula a dn school. According to the Fund for Teachers website, teachers are awarded based on application quality and merit as judged by a committee.”

“We put a lot of time and effort into our proposal, so it wasn’t easy,” Evan said. “We had to detail how we would use what we learned while we were there and give examples of how we would put that in the form of a lesson plan.”

“We have to bring in all the different subject areas from art to history and science to math, and write multiple lessons” Evans added.”

For Anderson, who teaches math, she said that her lessons would focus more on the economical front. Explaining some vast differences in Egypt and the U.S.

“For me, since I teach math, I will do something pertaining to how much it will cost to plan a trip to Egypt,” Anderson said. “It will based a lot on money conversions dealing with the Egyptian pound to the U.S. dollar.”

“It will also show the difference in the quality of living between the two places and the money that can be earned, for example, working two jobs there, people make around $60 a month,” she added.”

During their stay, the two said they got the full experience of Egypt, traveling from one end of the country to the other.”

They first arrived in Cairo and on day two of their trip they visited pyramids in Giza and the Sphynx, as well as a trip to the el-Khalili bazaar, described as a shopper’s paradise. On day three, they traveled to Alexandria, the second largest city in Egypt which is known as “the pearl of the Mediterranean.” They also visited Pompey’s pillar and the catacombs before strolling around Bibliotheca Alexandria.”

On days four through six, they traveled to Egypt’s southern-most city, Aswan, which is set along the Nile River. While there, they visited the temples of Abu Simbel, built by Ramses II in the 13 century BC. Days seven through nine were spent on a Nile cruise en route to Luxor, the capital of Egypt.”

Day 10 took them to several ancient sites on the west bank, two mammoth statues of Amenophis II at the Colossi of Memnon, the Queen Hatshepsut Temple and the Tomb of Tutankhamun. On day 11they saw the Egyptian Museum, with its most significant showpiece, the magnificent Tutankhamun (King Tut) collection. Shop at the largest souk in the Middle East, legendary for copper, perfume, silver, gold and start.”

According to the group’s Website, The Fund for Teachers is the brainchild of Raymond Plank, founder and Chairman of the Board of Houston-based Apache Corp. Planks explains why he started the organization in a letter from the founder.”

“Growing up in the Midwest, the most important influence in my life other than my father was a man named Noah Foss,”

Plank stated. “He was a Latin teacher, a towering figure who inspired, challenged and motivated countless young men at the small country day school I attended in the 1930s. But for Foss, who gave me the focus and self-respect I needed, I wouldn’t have received an honors score on my college entrance exams. And, almost certainly, I never would have gone to Yale.”

“There are many Noah Fosses in this country; teachers who each day inspire, challenge and shape young lives in countless ways,” he added. “A decade ago I began a modest grant program in Minnesota to reward deserving grades K-12 teachers who wanted a chance to enhance their skills, stimulate their minds, and bring new-found excitement back into the classroom. A chance to study volcanoes in Hawaii. Architecture in Florence. Language in Chile.”

As a result of their trip, Evans and Anderson agreed that they would eventually like to collect donations in some form and possibly send money back to the area they visited in hopes of offering a helping hand to those in need, citing the differences in lifestyles as a main reason.”

“I can’t begin to describe the difference in the way people live over there as compared to here,” Anderson said. “Here, education is something I think we all take for granted, while over there, it is considered a privilege.”

“In our country, a lot of people succeed and have opportunities to do so because of the possibility of an education,” Evans said. “No matter where you come from in our country, you have the opportunity to get an education, but over there it is not that way. Success in anything is rare over there, so when given the chance to get an education they feel really lucky, so I think we really learned a lot about how lucky we all in America.”